Cities of Difference

Edited by Ruth Fincher and Jane M. Jacobs

Paperback
Paperback
March 20, 1998
ISBN 9781572303102
Price: $42.00
322 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
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“This exciting and important book takes a critical approach to the concept of difference, examining its role in the constitution of urban life and the structuring of urban space. Informed by recent developments in feminism and postcolonial theory, the book illustrates the complexity of contemporary identity politics, encompassing issues of homelessness, disability, youth, aboriginality, single parents, and people with AIDS besides the more familiar differences associated with gender and sexuality, race, and class. In exploring questions of representation, signification and performativity, the book insists on grounding these processes in the material world. Drawing on a wide range of empirical work, the authors demonstrate how struggles over identity and difference are always locally articulated. Going beyond the mapping of difference, the book explores the social and spatial constitution of difference in processes of embodiment, aestheticization, and commodification. In place of shrill readings of globalization or postmodernity, Cities of Difference provides a carefully nuanced cultural politics of the city, decentering, destabilizing, and radically unsettling much of the received wisdom of urban analysis.”

—Peter Jackson, Professor of Human Geography, University of Sheffield, UK


“Cities of Difference sets out bold new directions for the study of urban and metropolitan regions. Refusing to reduce the 'urban question' to either political economy or culture, the contributors show how their interpenetration shapes the uneven material circumstances, social context, and subjective identities of urban residents. Richly textured, nuanced chapters throw into high relief questions of social and spatial justice, and provide insightful ways to confront dilemmas of fairness and access. Readers will never be able to see the city or urban space in the same way again.”

—Jennifer Wolch, Professor of Geography, University of Southern California


“This volume features some of the best contemporary work by a new generation of urban geographers. Crossing over existing boundaries and interrogating conventional categories, contributors destabilize existing conceptual structures. The city emerges as a place where difference reigns—difference that is constantly reworked by individuals and groups through engagement with economic, social and political contexts. Theoretically astute and empirically alert, the book provides a distinctive fin-de-siecle synthesis of issues of urban subjectivity, identity, social and economic restructuring, and globalization.”

—David Ley, Professor of Geography, University of British Columbia