Remapping the City

Ira Katznelson

in Marxism and the City

Published in print September 1993 | ISBN: 9780198279242
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191601910 | DOI:

Series: Marxist Introductions

 Remapping the City

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Section I of this chapter discusses how, by not embarking on the journey linking city space, capitalist development, and class formation, Marxism denied itself a critical dimension in the material analysis both of the target it wished to confront and of the class it expected to be the agent of this successful engagement. Section II looks at how the separation between the social classes within the new social geography of the capitalist city in the nineteenth century helped assure the residential propinquity of members of the working class, as well as their isolation from other classes. However, with the elaboration of new networks made possible by the nationalization of labour markets, there was a growing sense that working classes shared a fate that transcended given localities, while advances in communications and transportation made the ties between class and space more complicated and tentative. Analyses are included of this break in working‐class history given in the work of Krishan Kumar and Craig Calhoun, and by Olivier Zunz and Richard Oestreicher in their studies of Detroit at the turn of the nineteenth century. Sections III–V show that the relationship of Marxism and the city and urban space now stands on unsure ground, since it is the politics and viability of class itself as the dominant form of collective identity that is currently under challenge; the discussion given here draws on the work of Mark Gottendiener and Eric Hobsbaum within the new urban Marxism.

Keywords: capitalist cities; capitalist development; cities; class formation; collective identity; Craig Calhoun; Hobsbaum; Krishan Kumar; Mark Gottendiener; Marxism; Olivier Zunz; Richard Oestreicher; separation of social classes; urban Marxism; urban space; viability of class; working classes

Chapter.  19106 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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