Accepted Paper:

Urban naturalisms: class, race and space in Kingston, Jamaica  
Rivke Jaffe (University of Amsterdam)

Paper short abstract:

This paper analyses class, race and space as co-produced, focusing on the interconnections between the social, natural and built environment. It introduces the concept of 'urban naturalisms' to indicate the naturalization of urban inequalities through the conflation of people, places and pollution.

Paper long abstract:

Like many other postcolonial cities, the socio-spatial hierarchies that characterize Kingston, Jamaica reflect the legacy of colonialism and slavery. Socio-economic and political power is still, to a large extent, associated with skin color and access to specific social spaces, notwithstanding the increased contestation and destabilization of these hierarchies in recent decades. This paper analyses class, race and space as co-produced, focusing on the interconnections between the social, natural and built environment of the city. Specifically, the paper explores the ways in which concepts of urban pollution - disease and dirt - organize relations between raced and classed bodies and urban space. It introduces the concept of 'urban naturalisms' to indicate the naturalization of urban inequalities through the conflation of people, places and pollution. It analyses the ways in which such naturalisms are both reproduced and contested through spatialized narratives and strategic mobilities.

Panel W053
Shaping urban inequalities: space and power in the city