Friday, August 3, 2012: 9:15 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
While scholarship in social science on violence is broad, explanations of the phenomena varies highly between different disciplines, from sociological understandings that tend to stress structures on identifying the causes of violence, to psychology models that focus on interpersonal relations, to anthropological ones that underline meaning and representation. In this article we argue for that urban violence must be understood as multiple and cannot be explained by theoretical models focusing on one determinant alone. Drawing on critical urban theory “to expose the marginalizations, exclusions, and injustices (whether of class, ethnicity, “race”, gender, sexuality, nationality, or otherwise) that are inscribed and naturalized within existing urban configurations” (Brenner.et.al. 2012:5), the aim of the article is explore discourses of urban violence as spatial struggles.
Based on three case studies from Sweden, political violence, spatial struggles and political agency are discussed through nationalism, racist practices and resistance. The three examples illustrate racist violence through the uses of the flag, violent encounters between Muslim women wearing the veil and self identified “Swedes”, and the struggles of anti racist movements and their experiences of the police. The national historical narrative of Sweden is highly based upon the ability to develop peaceful forms of coexistence and not engaging in the European colonial past. However, the research illustrates the global violent relations as well as historically drawn inherent conflicts within a nationalist discourse. These three expressions of violence are interlinked through systemic, symbolic and physical violence.