Neither friend nor enemy: Planning, ambivalence and the invalidation of urban informality in Zimbabwe

Kamete, A. (2019) Neither friend nor enemy: Planning, ambivalence and the invalidation of urban informality in Zimbabwe. Urban Studies, (doi:10.1177/0042098018821588) (Early Online Publication)

Kamete, A. (2019) Neither friend nor enemy: Planning, ambivalence and the invalidation of urban informality in Zimbabwe. Urban Studies, (doi:10.1177/0042098018821588) (Early Online Publication)

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Abstract

Planning relies on the strict classification and disposition of things in space. Intended to establish and maintain order, planning’s classifying practices are reinforced by binarisms that revolve around legality/illegality. The article deploys Bauman’s notion of the ‘stranger’ to recast hostility to informality as a symptom of antipathy against strangerhood and ambivalence. Drawing from qualitative research in urban Zimbabwe, I posit that because informality cannot be pigeonholed as either ‘friend’ or ‘enemy’, it instils a sense of unease in planners. I argue that this is a failure of the pursuit of order through binary antagonisms and contend that fixation with binarisms spawns ‘spatial undecidables’ and fuels resentment against informality. I propose that the notion of strangerhood complements and extends the concept of ‘gray spacing’.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Early Online Publication
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kamete, Dr Amini
Authors: Kamete, A.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:Urban Studies
Publisher:SAGE
ISSN:0042-0980
ISSN (Online):1360-063X
Published Online:14 March 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 Urban Studies Journal Limited
First Published:First published in Urban Studies 2019
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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