Accepted Paper:

Subtle and profound. Contemporary forms of inequalities unveiled through observing mobility practices.  


Paola Jiron (Universidad de Chile)
Luis Iturra (University of Oxford)

Paper short abstract:

Observing how inequality on takes an everyday basis place unveils the subtle yet profound ways in which urban dwellers experience this process. A mobility approach allows for observing the subtleties under inequalities are compounded to show the consequences of extreme neoliberal interventions.

Paper long abstract:

Research on urban inequality through social exclusion, segregation, fragmentation and concertation of vulnerable groups in urban peripheries, (or central areas through gentrification lately,) in cities in both developed and developing countries, has been widespread. In Latin America specifically, important efforts have been made to understand the relation between current development models and urban housing policies. Chile is one country that has received considerable attention in this area, especially from the rest of the Latin American region and international development agencies.

The study of inequalities in Chilean cities has been generally undertaken in terms of residential segregation, and the causes have mainly been attributed to land and housing market liberalization and neoliberal reforms. Latin American cities are known for their widespread inequality, yet, although the causes of urban inequalities are known to be multidimensional, little research has been carried out to move further from residential segregation.

This paper argues that a mobility approach to urban everyday life can complement the study of urban segregation to understand the increasingly complex and invisible forms of urban inequality in neoliberal cities like Santiago. With this in mind, the paper first discusses the way in which inequality is understood and spatialized, principally in the case of Latin American cities, and Santiago in particular. It then describes how urban mobility analysis can help to understand new forms of urban inequality, not just socioeconomic and spatially fixity. Finally, through ethnographic observation of daily mobility practices in this city, it presents how people experience differentiated mobility practices.

Panel E01
Everyday practices of inequality (Paper)