Leaving post-industrial urban studies behind?

Luger, J. and Schwarze, T. (2024) Leaving post-industrial urban studies behind? Dialogues in Urban Research, (doi: 10.1177/27541258241230058) (Early Online Publication)

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In this forum paper, we question the lasting utility of the framework and language of urban post-industrialism. We suggest that, while such conceptual metaphors are useful to understand economic, social and cultural change at specific times, post-industrial may obscure more nuanced explorations of the realities of today's multi-faceted, planetary, and digitally-mediated urban processes and socio-spatialities. Post-industrial speaks primarily to dramatic and violent changes that happened in the twentieth century, and continue to happen today, but, we suggest, the story is more complex. Specifically, we bring forward a few critiques of the post-industrial, that a revitalized agenda might begin to move beyond. Firstly, is that industrialisation is always-ongoing, and not something that can be fixed into place. Where it is absent, it continues to haunt. Second, is that over-use of post-industrial as a descriptor and critical lens can lead to territorial, class, racial/ethnic, political, and world-regional stigmatizations. In particular, it can reinforce colonialist hierarchies of prototype Northern/Western cities versus those in the majority world, and certain assumptions about linearity and path dependencies about industrial trajectories. Thirdly, we suggest post-industrial frameworks can calcify gender binaries and obscure counterhegemonies and fluidities, especially given the realities of global urban industrial labour today. Finally, we propose that moving beyond the post-industrial might open more radical space for vibrant art and politics, from cross-spectrum alliances and solidarities (like revitalized labour movements), to joyful artistic expression that transcends rust, decay, and ruin. We do not propose throwing away post-industrialism, but rather, to invite other possibilities to coexist.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Early Online Publication
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Schwarze, Dr Tilman
Authors: Luger, J., and Schwarze, T.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:Dialogues in Urban Research
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):2754-1258
Published Online:08 February 2024
Copyright Holders:Copyright © The Author(s) 2024
First Published:First published in Dialogues in Urban Research 2024
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

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