Rowland Atkinson
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Highs and lows – breaching social and spatial boundaries
in How the other half lives
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The book concludes that it has highlighted the exciting possibilities of combining work on different aspects of social life in ways that illuminate its upper reaches as much as the necessary coverage of poverty and exclusion. In taking a leaf from Riis’ work and agenda on considering how the ‘cheek by jowl’ of urban life operated, the advantages of understanding disjuncture and adjacency are illustrated clearly. Here the pathway between high and low city, from male to female gaze, migrant to ‘settled’ resident, from estate to leafy terrace, and from violent actor to victim, can be seen as a more closely connected and interconnected series of conditions and stories. One of the most obvious questions that arises from these comparisons is the question of the degree to which positive and negative outcomes and conditions might also be related – are these conditions inevitably part of some rich but unsettling social condition, or are they outcomes generated by interrelated forces and pressures in relation to each other (perhaps even by design or planning)?

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How the other half lives

Interconnecting socio-spatial inequalities


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