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Negotiating Differences in Shifting Urban Spaces: Conviviality, Cohabitation and Resistance 
Grazia Deng (Brown University)
Stefano Portelli (University of Leicester)
Deniz Yonucu (Newcastle University)
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Wednesday 22 July, -
Time zone: Europe/Lisbon

Short Abstract:

This lab explores the micro-mechanisms that enable the conviviality and cohabitation of urban diversity by using innovatively classical theoretical frameworks to interpret new ethnographic cases that explore how diverse social groups overcome fear and negotiate differences in urban spaces.

Long Abstract:

This lab focuses on ethnographic sharing for theoretical implications on the use of urban space in which a) conviviality is mediated among diverse marginalised communities, b) cohabitation is negotiated in situations of high diversity, c) collective resistance is developed against social stigma and institutional violence. How can we understand the complex interplay of cultural intimacy and the shared will among immigrants, ethnic minorities, racialized working classes, or other marginalised groups to maintain peaceful cohabitation in an ever-transforming urban space? How do these vulnerable groups negotiate differences against threatening state security practices and the emergency rhetoric that often legitimise neoliberal urban projects?

The lab will last one session with no more than 15 participants, three conveners included. The participants will be subdivided into three small groups for thematic discussions, led by the conveners, based on their selection of quotations from classical studies on the use of urban spaces. Each group will discuss and critique how these quotations will contribute (or not) to understanding the ethnographic cases of its members. Then each group will present their thoughts to all the participants, followed by the final discussions.

Our goal is to explore innovative theoretical thoughts that go beyond the classical ones so as for the recognition of new uses of urban space that challenge mainstream depictions of diversity as inherently conflictive, as well as for understanding the micro-mechanisms that enable the urban conviviality and cohabitation overcoming the fear and anxieties about differences within the context of the increasing diversity in Europe and beyond.