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Socio-economic cohesion and contemporary spatial practices: cities of medium size and consumption

Grant number: 13/06240-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2013
Effective date (End): December 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Geography - Human Geography
Principal researcher:Arthur Magon Whitacker
Grantee:Carolina Karoll Battistam
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia (FCT). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Presidente Prudente. Presidente Prudente , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:11/20155-3 - Socio-economic cohesion and contemporary spatial practices: cities of medium size and consumption, AP.TEM

Abstract

This research project has the relationship between urban restructuring and the restructuring of the city as its central point of interest, taking consumption as its reference, which is considered under three analytical schemes: 1) the new cohesion of the location of businesses which stem from the strategies of economic agents driven by expansion and diversification of consumption, generating new socio-spatial practices among those making use of urban space; 2) these practices, along with cohesion, redefine the process of urban structure, promoting urban restructuring and introducing urban networks on a more comprehensive scale, showing a more complex urban division of labour as well as vectors expressing the broader processes of the global economy and the globalization of values; 3) they refocus the process of the structuring of urban space; a restructuring of cities can be seen, expressing a new socio-economic division of space, revealing deepening socio-spatial inequalities as well as the reconstruction of socio-spatial differences, now driven, furthermore, by new forms of consumption. For the purposes of this research, these three analytical schemes make sense essentially as a means of including subjective and objective, economic and social conditions in the analysis. Socio-spatial practices and economic cohesion are seen in this project as an opportunity to take a reading of the transformation in urban areas and in the cities, which is the central focus of the analysis. Consumption is seen as the best means of understanding these practices and logic at the present time, even though it was not in itself regarded as the object of our investigation. The point of view justifying taking consumption as the means of understanding these practices and logic finds strong support in the ideas of Bourdin (2005, p.49), who suggests that consumption has changed in intensity and content, as well as status, along with the rest of the world, linking with a tendency towards individualization of experience and processes of differentiation.