Edited by Tim Schwanen and Ronald van Kempen
Chapter 21: Sociality, materiality and the city
This chapter suggests that cities can be conceived of as a complexity of interconnected sites of vibrant matters, embodied entanglements and passionate affects. Cities are constantly inventing and reinventing themselves, and are spaces where the ‘social’ and sociality is enacted and emerges in unpredictable ways. The chapter considers how sociality and materiality in the city are co-constituted and entangled in the city in a specific historical moment. I argue that cities can be made and unmade in different configurations over time, constituted by socio-material and technological connections and networks, and entangled spaces of bodies, affects, things, urban infrastructures, pleasures, aesthetics, which are formed within fluid temporalities, spaces of flows and interconnections. The first section charts some of the key ways that sociality and materiality in the city have been conceived together in the city prior to the ‘material turn’. The second section outlines contemporary thinking of materiality and sociality as co-constituted and entangled/intertwined. In the final section, I think through sociality and the materiality in the context of public space.
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