Urban anthropology

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HAC101 Urban anthropology

Professor: Cleo GOUGOULIS | Course outline [pdf file]

The course focuses on issues regarding anthropological and socio-cultural analysis of urban space. It aims to highlight urban social and cultural relationships by discussing the multiple ways people interact with each other and the city in their daily lives thereby constructing identities, reproducing, interpreting, or contesting hegemonic discourses and representations. The relationship between people and the city is dynamic. Therefore emphasis is laid on the ways people and the city interact, as active agents and products of historical, socioeconomic and material processes. The course comprises a discussion of anthropological and interdisciplinary literature on the city starting from the classical works of Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Simmel and the Chicago School and moving on to Neo- Marxism, the spatial turn of Poststructuralism and Postmodernism. The city and features of the built environment (e.g. streets, squares, walls , monuments and landmarks) are analyzed as spaces where social control and social inequality are enacted, reproduced or resisted and as places where collective memory or gender, age and ethnic/national identity is constructed, claimed or contested with specific mention to the role of the city in the development of new social movements. Further topics include cinematic representations of the city and the transformation of urban landscapes by new technologies.


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