By focusing on strategies and practices of marginalized urban dwellers, this panel proposes new anthropological perspectives on contemporary urbanity that aim to decentre hegemonic knowledge about the city.
Contestations over space, political power and other resources lead in many places to processes of inclusion and exclusion, which place some social groups at the urban centres and others at the urban margins. How urban dwellers from different walks of life, equipped with different resources, live together in the cities in the Global North and the Global South is therefore a key question, which needs to be addressed in order to understand contemporary urbanity and to shape cities of the future.
Urban margins can refer to segregated, poor neighbourhoods ('ghettos', 'slums'); to urban dwellers who lack state citizenship ('sans papiers', asylum seekers) or other groups whose right to the city become contested. urban margins may refer to inhabitants whose access to the city's spaces and resources is restricted (homeless people, the elderly, women, youth). Urban margins are in continuous flux, shaping and shaped by the city's dynamics; who stands at the centre and who at the margins is not least the outcome of contestations, negotiations, and dissolutions enacted through the urbanites' social practices.
We invite papers which provide empirically grounded accounts of urban margins in cities across the globe. We are especially interested in papers which show empirically that urban inhabitants living at the margins of a city do not at all represent negligible minorities of the urban whole, but contest and subvert periphery-centre relations through their strategies and practices.