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Ronald V. Kalafsky

Export growth is often viewed as a means or even a bellwether of increased regional economic development. Certainly, many metropolitan areas across the southern United States have attracted export-intensive industries as way to drive employment and overall economic growth. This chapter examines the export activities and patterns for smaller metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) across the southern US. The findings suggest that many of these smaller urban regions are comparatively export intensive, especially in terms of manufactured goods. The second part of the analyses examine whether these urban regions benefit from being in the orbit of larger MSAs. The results intimate that overall, many of the largest export performers are not always located adjacent to larger urban regions. Indeed, many have unique export industries and performance. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the implications of these results for smaller city economic growth policies and export development.

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Ronald V. Kalafsky and Douglas R. Gress

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Edited by John R. Bryson, Ronald V. Kalafsky and Vida Vanchan

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John R. Bryson, Ronald V. Kalafsky and Vida Vanchan

This chapter introduces the concept of ordinary cities and extraordinary geographies. The chapter initially explores the neglect of smaller towns and cities in urban theory including a discussion of confirmation bias and the dangers of seeing what is expected rather than that which is actual. The analysis then critiques multi-scalar approaches to the urban question by highlighting that scale is relative and experiential. The analysis then identifies some elements of an alternative approach to urban theory informed by the works of Georges Perec, James Joyce and Slavoj _i_ek. This alternative approach highlights the importance of understanding the infra-ordinary and extra-ordinary combined with interpolations and parallax shifts. The emphasis is on developing a more inclusive approach to understanding variegated urbanism and the development of a parallax informed approach to urban theory.

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John R. Bryson, Vida Vanchan and Ronald V. Kalafsky

This chapter offers a final discussion regarding this book’s contribution to the recent debate regarding reframing urban theory, but from the perspective of variegated urbanism. It reflects back on the chapters presented in this collection and identifies themes highlighted in each chapter in this book, but initially positions the argument within a broader conceptual framework. The focus is on the difficulties associated with identifying patterns. It develops an approach to understanding cities based on Wittgenstein’s concept of forms of life. It then analyzes of forms of life that is framed within the literature on embeddedness and extends this concept to highlight that embeddedness involves plasticity.

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Edited by John R. Bryson, Ronald V. Kalafsky and Vida Vanchan

This insightful book explores smaller towns and cities, places in which the majority of people live, highlighting that these more ordinary places have extraordinary geographies. It focuses on the development of an alternative approach to urban studies and theory that foregrounds smaller cities and towns rather than much larger cities and conurbations.