What is it about?
This paper does not attempt to identify any universal, deeper-lying causes of urban unrest. However, based on prolonged fieldwork in Oslo prior to, during and following episodes of unrest in 2009, it is argued that contextual knowledge of ordinary life can be helpful when trying to understand extraordinary events such as ‘riots’.
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Why is it important?
Urban scholars point out that those who try to explain the prevalence of ‘urban unrest’ often point to segregation which, in turn, implies that material resources are unequally distributed between different neighbourhoods and groups. In other words, inequality gives rise to rioting. It is also claimed that the poor and immigrants are often discriminated against and live in stigmatised neighbourhoods, which also creates fertile ground for unrest since marginalised people become frustrated and angry over time. This paper can be read as a warning against spatial and material determinism.
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: Marginality and banality in the segregated city: Reflections on the ‘riots’ in Oslo, Ethnicities, August 2019, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/1468796819866334.
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