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The suburbs as sites of 'within-planning' power relations

Mace, Alan ORCID: 0000-0001-9920-8765 (2016) The suburbs as sites of 'within-planning' power relations. Planning Theory, 15 (3). pp. 239-254. ISSN 1473-0952

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Identification Number: 10.1177/1473095214567027


Despite a longstanding and varied body of literature on suburban difference, a simplified narrative of the suburbs persists that is represented by a city–suburb binary. This is damaging as it undermines our understanding of the social dynamics of the places in which, in the United Kingdom, the majority of the population live. This article looks at the reasons for the persistence of a city–suburb binary. It engages with suburban housing as a Bourdieuian field in order to show how simplified characterisations of the suburban serve the interest of particular groups, including within planning. Bourdieu’s field theory offers a powerful means to understand how judgements of the suburbs are naturalised and so become common-sense truths. As field theory indicates ‘within-planning’ power relations that support particular truths, it offers the possibility of challenging these by exposing the taken-for-granted norms of the city-suburb binary.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 The Authors
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2016 10:25
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 02:15

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