Books

 ‘Young Homeless People and Urban Space’ 

This ethnographic exploration of contemporary spaces of homelessness takes an expanded view of homeless space, threading together experiences of organizational spaces, routes taken through the city and the occupation of public space. Through engaging with participants’ accounts of movement and place, the book argues that young homeless people become fixed in mobility,a condition that impacts on both everyday life and possible futures. Based on an innovative multi-method study of a day centre in London for young homeless people, the book contextualizes spaces of homelessness within the social relations and flows of people that produce the world city. The book considers how the biographical and everyday trajectories of young homeless people intersect with place attachments and forms of governance to produce urban homeless spaces. It provides a new angle on the city made by movement, foregrounding the impact of mobilities shaped by loss, violence and the search for opportunity. The book draws on mental maps, photography, interviews and observation in order to produce an engaging and rich ethnographic account of young homeless people in the city.

The Middle Classes and the City: A Study of Paris and London  (Marie-Hélène BacquéGary BridgeMichaela BensonTim ButlerEric CharmesYankel FijalkowEmma JacksonLydie LaunayStéphanie Vermeersch)

What does it mean to be middle class in the contemporary city? What do the middle classes do to these cities and what do these cities do to middle class identity? Do the middle classes engage in social mix or do they seek out ‘people like us’? How much do middle-class attitudes and activities vary by neighbourhood as well as across two global cities? Based on a large comparative study of different types of neighbourhood (gentrifying and gentrified inner urban, suburban, exurban and gated communities) in both Paris and London, The Middle Classes and the City explores how class intersects with gender, ethnicity, and intergenerational relations in the fragmentation of middle-class lifestyles, as well as identifying their common practices (especially in relation to schooling and gender divisions of labour). It suggests that localized neighbourhood activities, as well social interactions and mobilities across the city as a whole, are used by the middle classes to manage social mix and social reproduction, involving different degrees of competition and compromise.

Stories of Cosmopolitan Belonging: Emotion and Location (Hannah Jones and Emma Jackson)

What does it mean to belong in a place, or more than one place? This exciting new volume brings together work from cutting-edge interdisciplinary scholars researching home, migration and belonging, using their original research to argue for greater attention to how feeling and emotion is deeply embedded in social structures and power relations.

Stories of Cosmopolitan Belonging argues for a practical cosmopolitanism that recognises relations of power and struggle, and that struggles over place are often played out through emotional attachment. Taking the reader on a journey through research encounters spiralling out from the global city of London, through English suburbs and European cities to homes and lives in Jamaica, Puerto Rico and Mexico, the contributors show ways in which international and intercontinental migrations and connections criss-cross and constitute local places in each of their case studies.

With a reflection on the practice of ‘writing cities’ from two leading urbanists and a focus throughout the volume on empirical work driving theoretical elaboration, this book will be essential reading for those interested in the politics of social science method, transnational urbanism, affective practices and new perspectives on power relations in neoliberal times. The international range of linked case studies presented here will be a valuable resource for students and scholars in sociology, anthropology, urban studies, cultural studies and contemporary history, and for urban policy makers interested in innovative perspectives on social relations and urban form.

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