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Cities. Reimagining the Urban

  • ID: 2249424
  • Book
  • March 2002
  • 192 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
This book develops a fresh and challenging perspective on the city. Drawing on a wide and diverse range of material and texts, it argues that too much contemporary urban theory is based on nostalgia for a humane, face–to–face and bounded city. Amin and Thrift maintain that the traditional divide between the city and the rest of the world has been perforated through urban encroachment, the thickening of the links between the two, and urbanization as a way of life.

They outline an innovative sociology of the city that scatters urban life along a series of sites and circulations, reinstating previously suppressed areas of contemporary urban life: from the presence of non–human activity to the centrality of distant connections. The implications of this viewpoint are traced through a series of chapters on power, economy and democracy.

This concise and accessible book will be of interest to students and scholars in sociology, geography, urban studies, cultural studies and politics.


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1. The Legibility of the Everyday City:.


The New Urbanism in Context.

The Flâneur and Transitivity.

Rhythms and Rhythmanalysis.

Urban Footprints and Namings.

A Basic Ontology.

2. Propinquity and Flow in the City:.


The Nostalgic City.

Near and Far.

Distanciated Communities.

The Restless Site.


3. Cities in a Distanciated Ecomony:.


The Urbanised Economy.

Cities as Sites.


4. The Machinic City:.



The City of Passions.

The Engineering of Certainty.

5. Powerful Cities:.


Diagrams of Power.

Escape Attempts.



6. The Democratic City:.


Creating a Democratic Public′.

Political City.

Rights to the City: A Politics of the Commons.

A Mobile Politics.

Afterword: Testing New Ground.



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A wonderfully incisive dissection of new configurations of "cities" in the contemporary world.′
John Urry, Lancaster University

A brilliant re–viewing of cities. Bursting with fresh insights, it demands that we see and hear urban life and the everyday workings of the metropolis in new ways, that we re–cognize urban complexities, that we resensitize ourselves to all the transitory conjunctures and disjunctures through which the urban is perpetually (re)constituted, that we reconceive the terrain of urban political possibility. In short, if there is one book to be read on contemporary urban phenomena, this is unquestionably it.′ Allan Pred, University of California at Berkeley

"In this important and provocative book, Amin and Thrift set out the rudiments of what might be termed a ′post –urban sociology...The book is certainly an intellectual tour–de–force. It fizzes with ideas and brings a range of novel perspectives to bear...I will certainly be looking forward to reading the future works of these writers" Mike Savage, Sociology

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