Coward M, 2012, "Between us in the city: materiality, subjectivity, and community in the era of global urbanization" Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 30(3) 468 – 481
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Between us in the city: materiality, subjectivity, and community in the era of global urbanization
Received 10 November 2010; in revised form 20 May 2011
Abstract. In this paper I consider the conceptual challenges for subjectivity and community in an era of global urbanisation. The urban environment comprises a complex assemblage of human and nonhuman entities. Urban political subjectivity is thus constituted by a distinctive relation with materiality. This reconceptualisation of the subject comprises a challenge to the classical morphology that has underpinned conceptions of citizenship and community. This morphology has rested on notions of autonomy that are predicated on a separability of the agent from context and community. Global urbanisation challenges the traditional conception of the urban subject as an autonomous citizen. In contrast to classical political morphologies I contend, via Nancy’s account of the reticulated multiplicity of being singular plural, that urban political subjectivity is constituted by an ineluctable exposure to alterity that arises through our sharing of that which is ‘between us’ in the city: the material fabric of the urban environment.
Keywords: assemblage, city, citizenship, community, infrastructure, materiality, subjectivity, urbanisation
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References 29 references, 6 with DOI links ()
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