Realising the city

Urban ethnography in Manchester

This book gives ethnographic accounts of Manchester's urban challenges from 2002, journeying through the city over a fourteen-year period, into the halls of power and out to local communities to understand the effects of the style of 'entrepreneurial' governance. It focuses on fieldwork in socio-cultural settings to explore broad themes ranging from kinship relations to the effects of globalisation, from birth and death rituals to migration and organisational structures. The book illuminates who, how, where, why and what happens in city making through observations from situated urban ethnographers living and working alongside civic actors. It provides an ethnographic description of political relations in the city of Manchester by focusing on recent attempts to distribute responsibility for reductions in the city's carbon emissions. The book draws insight from the author's fieldwork where a nurturing approach by an events organization mingled with multiple community groups and stakeholders in the creation of a major civic parade. It argues for an 'emergent city' urban policy, inspired by organisers of civic parade in Manchester, which involved over 1,800 participants from ninety community groups. A tracing of the development of the lounge and an attendant notion of 'loungification' is provided in the book. The book also explores tensions in how organizational processes and community aspirations are negotiated through physical sites in urban spaces. The impact of city administrative or political activity can be traced through ethnographic analyses, in particular as a presence that affects people's ability to realise their own ambitions.

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