The Spatial Dimension of Poverty

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 15:45
Oral Presentation
Susan FAINSTEIN, Harvard University, USA
Norman FAINSTEIN, Connecticut College, USA
Spatial arrangements have been seen as a critical aspect of poverty since the mid nineteenth century. But sociological as well as political narratives have differed sharply on whether space is a cause or an expression of poverty, as well as on the extent to which space is a source of exploitation or a foundation for group solidarity and political mobilization. In the past the terminology spoke of the “slum” and the “ghetto,” while more recently it has included “spatial mismatch,” “spatial fix,” “social exclusion,” “racial segregation,” “concentrated poverty,” and “moving to opportunity.” In this chapter we examine the political-sociology of the spatial dimension of poverty/inequality in the United States and Western Europe. We discuss the interaction of class, ethnicity, and race in the context of varying political arrangements and the evolving dynamics of capitalism, the spatial bases for political isolation and power, as well as the consequences of full spatial integration for social heterogeneity and pluralism.