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Outside the Outside: The New Politics of Suburbs

Outside the Outside: The New Politics of Suburbs

Verso Books9781788738170

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Matt Hern argues that the changing relationship between the urban center and the suburban periphery forces us to rethink the entire identity of the city itself. Today, most of the Western world lives on the city outskirts. Yet these neighborhoods that once offered security and respite from the perceived dangers of the city center have been radically transformed in the last few decades to poor, working-class and racialized communities. Outside the Outside maps these changes and argues for a revival of the social life of the city as a whole.

Hern shows how language that relegates parts of the urban to the “outside” and designates other parts as the "center" echoes colonial forms of domination. This should come as no surprise in an era when communities are forced onto the periphery and beyond by gentrification.

With on-the-ground reportage in, among other places, Vancouver, Portland, London, Ferguson and Rabat, Hern demonstrates how we need to challenge our misconceptions and see the "sub-urbs" as vibrant places of resistance and regeneration and to celebrate the movement, circulation and difference to be found there.
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