Reason in the City of Difference
By Gary Bridge
Routledge; November 2004
Contemporary discourse emphasizes the irrational, unconscious, and discursive and displaces experiences of city life.
Discussion of conscious agency is minimal and is often confined to small acts of resistance.
Reason in the City of Difference aims to re-establish a strong notion of conscious agency in our understanding of urban life.
Through philosophical and empirical exploration, the book examines how the city has been shaped by reason - through the technical rationality of urban planning and through the profound social and spatial effects of economic rationality.
It argues that we get a view of the oppressiveness of cities from a preoccupation with the effects of narrow instrumental rationality. If we see rationality in a wider context, as cultural and expressive, then the city has emancipatory potential through its diversity.
Using a range of empirical examples and drawing particularly on pragmatist ideas of 'experience' and rationality the Reason in the City of Difference offers a new, alternative reading of the city.
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