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Discourses of the postmodern are having profound effects on a range of urban practices, from philosophy and political economy to architecture and planning. This collection charts the confrontations between a postmodern aesthetic (and its influence upon architectural, artistic and cultural styles), a socio-economic 'condition' of postmodernity (overlain upon a global economic restructuring of space), and a postmodern paradigm of knowledge (heavily influenced by poststructuralism). "Postmodern Cities and Spaces" brings together a group of writers and critics from diverse disciplinary and geographical backgrounds. It links the architectural and the physical, the aesthetic and the sexual, and the real and imaginary, within a broad discussion of postmodern cities and spaces. The book then examines these urban spaces as a site for 'postmodern politics' - in Bombay, in South Africa, in New York and Los Angeles.
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Sophie Watson is Professor of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Sydney.
Katherine Gibson is Director of the Centre for Women's Studies and Senior Lecturer at the Department of Geography and Environmental Science, Monash University, Melbourne.Review:
"An exhilarating roller-coaster of a ride round the globe... Collectively, the essays explore the possibilities of a fruitful politics of postmodern life and culture. Individually, they create rich tapestries out of the contingencies of postmodern spaces and social organizations. What we have is a fragmented cultural study of the power of contemporary spaces and the spaces of contemporary power." Lawrence Grossberg, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
"This sparkling collection takes a positive rather than a celebratory approach to the contemporary city. Its intention is to think up new strategies of inclusion which can be used to combat the strategies of exclusion deployed in existing socio-spatial order. These strategies ... are attempts to describe other ways of occupying urban space that multiply possibilities rather than close them down. A particular feature of the collection is its attempt to take in postcolonial situations in cities outside of the standard western examples." Nigel Thrift, University of Bristol
"Watson and Gibson provide an interdisciplinary forum for debates about the meaning of the term 'postmodern space'.... Many of the essays in Postmodern Cities and Spaces expand traditional ideas of spatial politics by exploring the spaces of subjectivity and representation along with questions of gender, sexuality, class, ethnicity, and race." Rosalyn Deutsche
"What excites me most about this collection is the diversity of places and social groups it discusses. The book makes important contributions to theoretical and political discussions of city life both in the past and today." Iris M. Young, University of Pittsburgh
"The seventeen chapters that make up this volume are surprisingly coherent and constitute an up-to-date Reader in contemporary urban studies which is informative, theoretically imaginative and, at most points, a compelling read." Sociological Review
"The writing is most engaging when the contributors' desire for constructive action combines with meticulous research methods, self-reflexive theory and an interdisciplinary approach, as in the essays by Elizabeth Wilson, John Lechte, Edward W. Sojar and Peter Marcus. For readers interested in the relation of space to politics of identity, privilege and oppression, Postmodern Cities and Spaces offers a variety of scholarly interpretations and , as a whole, maintains an incredulity toward metanarratives, modern and otherwise." C. H. Parachute 81
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