Sense of Place in an Inner City: Insights from the End of the World


Understanding cities is like understanding metaphors: one needs to engage in a search for the common ground below the surface. Although substantial work in the field of cultural studies has scrutinized metropolitan contexts, when discussing the global, we seem to have overlooked inner cities as part and parcel of that totality. The wave of increasingly profuse intercultural contact raised by instability, transgression of borders or new communication flows, has unquestionably disrupted traditional forms of place-based identity. In such context of blurred borders and permanent intersections, the present study aims to explore the ‘low-key’ idiosyncrasies that shape cultural identity in the inner city of Gálvez, Santa Fe, Argentina, in an attempt to devise tools for the creation of politics of co-presence in this particular context. Inkeeping with this quest, the analysis of field data on the role of social forces in the creation of social space, (namely schools and educators, social institutions, cultural managers, and municipal governance), reveals the existence of multiple paths to strengthen people-place bonding. In this light, these findings should eventually contribute to model interventions to empower social actors to resist the idea of, as Robert Frost puts it, ‘mending walls’ to foster social conviviality. Ultimately, the challenge of real-life urbanity, regardless of its urban form, appears to imply unveiling the bonds that foster a strong sense of belonging and the mutual recognition of the presence of alterity that may lead to the actual possibility of co-development.

Author Information
Diana Pochettino, Municipio de Gálvez, Santa Fe, Argentina

Paper Information
Conference: CITY2017
Stream: Culture, Popular Culture and Cultural Studies

This paper is part of the CITY2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon