The panel explores how urban youth employ (black) popular culture to frame and negotiate social and spatial marginalization. Urban identities and spaces are narrated and contested as globalized representations of youth, cities and exclusion are linked to social practices at different levels of scale
Since the groundbreaking work of Stuart Hall and the Birmingham school of cultural studies, popular culture and the specific urban experience of marginalization and contestation have been leading themes within the social sciences. In this panel, we seek to build upon and extend that critical work by investigating empirically the manner in which youths in cities worldwide employ popular culture to frame and negotiate social and spatial marginalization, often critiquing 'common sense' understandings of propriety and the social order. In the narration and contestation of specific urban identities and spaces, we see the linking of popular globalized representations of youth, cities and exclusion to social practices at different levels of scale. We are specifically but not exclusively interested in the global dissemination and appropriation of black popular culture - including hiphop, reggae, dancehall and reggaeton - and the emergence of discursive spaces such as the 'hood, the barrio, the ghetto and the street. In this, we seek to explore whether spatially constructed identities may eclipse a specifically racialized understanding of blackness, and what role capitalism and culture industries play in this process.