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Between abstraction and complexity

Wachsmuth, David, Madden, David J. and Brenner, Neil (2011) Between abstraction and complexity. City: Analysis of Urban Trends, Culture, Theory, Policy, Action, 15 (6). pp. 740-750. ISSN 1360-4813

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Identification Number: 10.1080/13604813.2011.632903


Theoretical, conceptual and methodological choices must be framed in relation to concrete explanatory and interpretive dilemmas, not ontological foundations. In engaging with the limits and possibilities of recent assemblage-based work in urban studies, our concern has been to help forge new analytical tools for deciphering emerging patterns of planetary urbanization, which have unsettled the coherence and viability of earlier intellectual frameworks. As urbanization is changing, so too must urban theory change, and it must do so in ways that provide critical purchase on emergent sociospatial divisions, conflicts, struggles and transformations at all spatial scales and across divergent places and territories. To this end, responding to several strands of the debate on assemblage urbanism that has unfolded in previous issues of City, here we clarify our meta-theoretical stance, address several methodological questions and reiterate our arguments regarding the importance of a reinvigorated geopolitical economy of planetary urbanization. We insist on the importance of abstraction as a necessary methodological moment in any reflexive approach to urban knowledge formation.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 Taylor & Francis
Divisions: Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2012 10:41
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 14:21

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