By Kian Tajbakhsh
The Promise of town proposes a brand new theoretical framework for the examine of towns and concrete lifestyles. discovering the modern city scene too advanced to be captured by means of radical or traditional methods, Kian Tajbakhsh bargains a threefold, interdisciplinary strategy linking enterprise, area, and constitution. First, he says, city identities can't be understood via individualistic, communitarian, or classification views yet particularly in the course of the moving spectrum of cultural, political, and financial impacts. moment, the layered, unfinished urban areas we inhabit and in which we create that means are most sensible represented now not via a dead ringer for bounded actual areas yet really by means of overlapping and moving obstacles. And 3rd, the macro forces shaping city society comprise bureaucratic and governmental interventions now not captured by way of a basically fiscal paradigm. Tajbakhsh examines those dimensions within the paintings of 3 significant severe city theorists of contemporary many years: Manuel Castells, David Harvey, and Ira Katznelson. He indicates why the solutions provided by means of Marxian city concept to the questions of id, area, and constitution are unsatisfactory and why the views of different highbrow traditions resembling poststructuralism, feminism, Habermasian severe conception, and pragmatism might help us greater comprehend the demanding situations dealing with modern towns.
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The Promise of town proposes a brand new theoretical framework for the learn of towns and concrete existence. discovering the modern city scene too advanced to be captured through radical or traditional techniques, Kian Tajbakhsh bargains a threefold, interdisciplinary strategy linking business enterprise, area, and constitution.
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Additional resources for The Promise of the City: Space, Identity, and Politics in Contemporary Social Thought
In what follows, I suggest that we see his work as successive attempts to develop a non-essentialist or nonreductive account of urban identity or urban agency—a more technical way of pointing to the way social and indi35 36 Chapter 1 vidual identities in the spaces of everyday life are overlapping with each other, incomplete, always struggling to define themselves, never fully fixed within boundaries (of class, race, ethnicity, or territory, and so on). The story I tell about the transformations in Castells’s thinking traces the effect of essentialist assumptions on his attempt to escape the class reductive aspects of Marxian theory.
I am aware of the ambitious nature of this proposed synthesis. Readers may have noticed that I have already used concurrently the language of French poststructuralism, Habermasian critical theory, and comparative social science. I have deliberately employed concepts from these perspectives so as to suggest the intuitive compatibility of many (but of course not all) of the concepts. This may appear at first glance an improbable approach. Has not much of contemporary critical social theory and philosophy centered on a debate between two opposing and seemingly irreconcilable camps, with theorists such as Foucault, Derrida, and Laclau on the one side and Habermas and Offe on the other?
Taken together, these new departures provide many important insights and directions for a post-Marxist critical urban social theory. They nevertheless come with several limitations, too. One is the poorly integrated relationship between what is viewed as “material” issues (economic relations, resources, and inequality) and cultural issues (meaning, ideologies, representations). The danger here is the opposite of the reduction of these two moments into a base/superstructure scheme. ” Although I cannot do justice here to the rich variety of these emerging perspectives, I would point to three main limitations of the current literature.
The Promise of the City: Space, Identity, and Politics in Contemporary Social Thought by Kian Tajbakhsh