Accepted Paper:

Sociality events in urban settings and the generation of public sphere  
Sebastiano Citroni

Paper long abstract:

Urban settings may play a significant role in making practices of sociality among strangers generate public sphere on new problems and topics emerging from the world life. It is hardly a coincidence that certain urban civic groups set up public events including a variety of sociality practices in order to bring to the public attention (through the media action) new concerns and topics. I've ethnographically observed civic groups in Milan that organize these types of events and developed a comparison among them. The argument I'm proposing is that events of sociality among strangers generate more likely public sphere when they unfold in urban non- places whose identity is meant to be changed by the sociality practices that the events entail. Indeed, the contrast between the anonymity of non- places and the sociable practices that temporarily unfold in them turn the events in good news for the media discourse.

Panel W118
Cities