Global Cities, (Un)Rooted Lives: Towards a Trans-Scalar Conception of Citizenship
Plenary session paper of conference "Globalising Urban Histories: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Politics, Material Cultures and Ideologies in World Cities," organized by the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), in Cambridge, UK, 4-5 December 2007.
27 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2011 Last revised: 8 Apr 2014
Date Written: December 10, 2007
The question of how human subjectivity responds to urban life was as central to the founding fathers of urban sociology as it is to us today. Simmel’s insight that urban life presents man with an unprecedented, and ever changing complexity, a cognitive and sensuous overload, which reflects back on individuals’ awareness of themselves as multiply holds true, if not truer, of our crowded and densely populated cities as of the fin-de-siècle Berlin which inspired it to be first written. In this paper, we revisit this Simmelian classical theme with a view to critically re-examine contemporary approaches to urban democratic politics.
Keywords: Participation, citizenship, global cities, theory
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