Discussing the Uses of Public Space By Children of Bangladeshi Immigrants in Portugal: A Small Urban Square in Porto
Based on the Actor-Network Theory (ANT) approach of Latour, the interactions of these immigrant children in/with this area, seen as a network in action, have been mapped through observations, interviews and interactions with 16 children proceeding since July 2015. Episodes under analysis will focus on the connections between heterogeneous context elements like immigrant theories, praxis, objects, culture, human, non-human, religion, places, space, etcetera. In all occasions, the children used the area only in their own ethnic groups. Their presence and actions are strongly divided by gender: the girls prefer to use the place more to chat, the boys are always playing football or Beyblade.
Despite the vast theoretical literature which draws the distinction among space – homogenous and measurable element – and place – existing by the meaningful relation with people or other places - for Latour there is no sense to talk about this opposition, because every space is in constant and impermanent association with human or not human.
Once Portuguese children do not use the urban public space like Bangladeshi immigrant children, does this space represent an extension of their (private/domestic) place? Furthemore, what kinf of places and childhoods are being built through this interaction?