Articles | Volume 69, issue 2
Special issue:
Standard article
22 Jul 2014
Standard article |  | 22 Jul 2014

Die Gestaltung städtischer Abschließung im 21. Jahrhundert

L. Wacquant

Abstract. This paper draws on my books Urban Outcasts and Punishing the Poor, on the transformation of the forms and policy management of marginality in advanced society, to probe the use of space as a medium for social closure and control in the city. This first part sketches a framework for the (comparative) analysis of sociospatial seclusion, the process whereby particular social categories and activities are corralled and isolated in a reserved and restricted quadrant of physical and social space. The second part applies this schema to present a compressed analysis of the divergent trajectories of the black American ghetto and the French working-class borough in the post-Fordist age anchored by the three spatially inflected concepts of ghetto, hyperghetto and anti-ghetto. It concludes by stressing the role of the state in directing processes of seclusion at the top and at the bottom of the urban order, along a gradient from constraint to choice.

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