Castling space: An ethnographic investigation of public spheres in Joubert Park, Johannesburg
Ingrid Marais (University of Johannesburg & London South Bank University)
Paper short abstract:
The research that this presentation is based on, attempts spatialising public spheres through focusing on everyday actions and social relations in Joubert Park, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Paper long abstract:
Harvey (1990), Massey (1993), and Low (2000) have all drawn attention to the relational quality of space. For Popke & Ballard (2004: 100) space in the South African context is even more important: "the subjective experiences of urban space provide one of the principle mediums through which ideas of identity, difference, democracy and citizenship are being reworked in post-Apartheid South Africa". Space in the South African context can illuminate fault-lines and cleavages within South African society. Using the idea of public sphere as an arena of engagement around common interests (Harvey 2006), this research is an attempt to answer Smith & Low's (2006) call for the spatialisation of public spheres. For Freeman (2002) and Holston (2009) public spheres are seen in everyday interactions and daily life. Through a focus on everyday life and social relationships, I attempt to illustrate how various public spheres operate in a specific public space.