Federico Rahola

Urban at Large. Notes for an ethnography of urbanization and its frictious sites

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Urban Ethnography; Urbanization; Multi-scalarity; Rescaling Processes; Friction.

By following the path described by three articles and three pictures, the paper aims at detecting a possible site for contemporary urban ethnography. While recognizing a growing predicament in defining a site amidst the proliferation of mediated and multiscalar relations that characterizes global urbanization processes, it suggests reconceiving urban ethnography as a case of friction, that is, as the unstable, ephemeral, yet actual and material, site produced by the clash between different scales and between scalable and nonscalable situations. Following Anna Tsing's idea of a nonscalable theory of scalability, and assuming that urbanity is an abstract scalar notion, the article concludes by outlining a non-urban approach to urban ethnography in order to confront blurred contemporary urbanization processes.

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