DSA2018: Global inequalities
This panel explores how global inequalities are created, reproduced and potentially transformed at the level of day-to-day, routine life. It considers how studying people's everyday social relations, experiences and practices can provide new insights into addressing inequality at different scales.
There has been considerable interest amongst researchers in how inequality is structured at international, national and local levels, and the effects that it has from the perspectives of those individual and groups experiencing it. While recognising the considerable challenges that inequality brings to different societies around the world, much of this work has sought to understand this problem from conventional socioeconomic or political perspectives. This panel takes a new approach to inequality by exploring how it is created, reproduced and potentially transformed at the level of day-to-day life. The everyday is the realm of common sense, un-reflexive habit and mundane oppression but also of imagination and adaptation. The panel will look at how, far from being 'ordinary' or 'mundane' and therefore of little consequence to research and policymaking, understanding how inequality unfolds and is incorporated into and made meaningful in the contexts of people's everyday social relations, experiences and practices can provide new and potentially transformative insights into addressing the problem.
The panel organisers welcome proposals from different disciplines that make a variety of theoretical and/or empirical contributions to this theme. What forms of everyday practices of inequality are there? How are they constituted and performed, and with what effects? How are they reproduced and potentially altered? Potential topics include:
• Everyday inequality, environmental change and political ecology;
• The dynamics of daily social practice;
• Theories of resistance and the everyday;
• Making life 'livable' on a day-to-day basis;
• Routineness, habituation and temporality;
• Methodological considerations and issues.
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.
Cities of the Global South: Making Life "Liveable" on a Day-to-Day Basis
This research seeks to address the legacy of social and spatial fragmentation in cities in the Global South, particularly Johannesburg. The continued reproduction of inequality will be assessed by investigating influences of social segregation and spatial fragmentation experienced on a daily basis.
This research seeks to address the legacy of social and spatial fragmentation in cities in the Global South. In order to do this, the research explores the relationship between urban form and spatial transformation in influencing the everyday social relations and experiences of local communities. South Africa is located in sub-Saharan Africa and is considered to be the most urbanised and developed countries in Africa. Like many Global South cities, the history of inequality in Johannesburg can be traced back to periods of segregation, namely: colonialism and apartheid. The continued reproduction of inequality through social segregation and spatial fragmentation has influenced the liveability of the city at present. Donaldson (2001), confirms that there have been attempts to recreate the place and space of South African city identities. One of the most visible attempts is the Johannesburg Council's vision to develop the city into a "World Class African City" that is both sustainable and liveable. This is fitting as Johannesburg is considered a city of migrants, therefore making life in the city liveable on a day-to-day basis is key to addressing inequality. The potential to transform inequality will be assessed using social sustainability and liveability initiatives. The investigation of the historical grounding of day-to-day liveability problems, will assist in determining the relationship between social segregation and spatial fragmentation. Africa is an ever-evolving continent that poses so much untapped potential that is often overlooked due to the history of spatial and social change.
Spatial Stories of Temporary Migrant Workers: Filipino Migrant Workers and Their Sunday Street Market in Seoul
This research examines the spatial restrictions imposed upon temporary migrant workers in Seoul, South Korea. The placing and timing of the Filipino street market reveals the everyday realities of exclusion and the lived experiences of migrant workers in Seoul.
Seoul has recently received a growing number of migrant workers from developing Asia, including the Philippines, through South Korea's guest worker program. More than 40,000 Filipinos are currently employed in un-skilled, low-wage manufacturing jobs located in the city's outer rings. Much is known about the South Korean state's strict control measures on temporary migrant workers and their legal and economic vulnerability, but little about the spatial restrictions imposed upon them. While migrant workers are accommodated in factory dorms, they come out on weekends for shopping, worship, or other personal activities. This research examines the contested negotiations between the state, the Catholic Church, and Filipino workers over the University Boulevard flea market in Hyehwa, Seoul, which attracts nearly 3,000 Filipinos every Sunday afternoon. Particular focus is paid to the migrant workers' marginal, time-limited access to this public space that is connected to the city's high culture district with many small independent theatres and art galleries. It is argued that, despite the much vaunted rhetoric, by the state and the church, of multiculturalism and inclusiveness, the placing and timing of the Filipino street market reveals the everyday realities of exclusion and the lived experiences of migrant workers in Seoul. It is also argued that the migrants are actively engaged in producing a transnational locality that not only brings them together to socialize and to connect with their homes and churches back in the Philippines but also empowers them to feel belonged to the city's major attraction.
Subtle and profound. Contemporary forms of inequalities unveiled through observing mobility practices.
Observing how inequality on takes an everyday basis place unveils the subtle yet profound ways in which urban dwellers experience this process. A mobility approach allows for observing the subtleties under inequalities are compounded to show the consequences of extreme neoliberal interventions.
Research on urban inequality through social exclusion, segregation, fragmentation and concertation of vulnerable groups in urban peripheries, (or central areas through gentrification lately,) in cities in both developed and developing countries, has been widespread. In Latin America specifically, important efforts have been made to understand the relation between current development models and urban housing policies. Chile is one country that has received considerable attention in this area, especially from the rest of the Latin American region and international development agencies.
The study of inequalities in Chilean cities has been generally undertaken in terms of residential segregation, and the causes have mainly been attributed to land and housing market liberalization and neoliberal reforms. Latin American cities are known for their widespread inequality, yet, although the causes of urban inequalities are known to be multidimensional, little research has been carried out to move further from residential segregation.
This paper argues that a mobility approach to urban everyday life can complement the study of urban segregation to understand the increasingly complex and invisible forms of urban inequality in neoliberal cities like Santiago. With this in mind, the paper first discusses the way in which inequality is understood and spatialized, principally in the case of Latin American cities, and Santiago in particular. It then describes how urban mobility analysis can help to understand new forms of urban inequality, not just socioeconomic and spatially fixity. Finally, through ethnographic observation of daily mobility practices in this city, it presents how people experience differentiated mobility practices.
Time and inequality in access to basic services
How do resource poor men and women respond to being made to wait and rush when they access basic services? What do these temporal behaviours reveal about inequalities of power in the delivery chain for basic services? This paper reports from two lower class neighbourhoods in Delhi, India.
How do temporal behaviours reflect attitudes towards inequalities of resources and power? This paper draws on research in two lower class neighbourhoods of Delhi to examine the role of time allocations in access to basic services. It describes how being made to wait or rush structures everyday interactions with service providers, and how residents respond to such cycles of waiting and rushing. By contrasting survey findings and ethnographic enquiries, it shows that wastages of time linked to inequalities are widely under-reported, not just by providers making others wait, but also by residents who are made to wait. It argues that this under-reporting of time is rooted in the same relations of power that keep residents waiting for unpredictable services. Because irregular supplies prevent them from making any alternative plans around the moment of delivery, that time has limited value in their own eyes. This, in turn, results in their under-reporting it. The finding, the paper concludes, has implications for researchers concerned with understanding temporal choices, and for development practitioners concerned with delivering services to the poor.
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.