Friday, 17 August 2012

Territorial Stigmatization in the Age of Advanced Marginality

by Loïc Wacquant, 2007

The comparative sociology of the structure, dynamics, and experience
of urban relegation in the United States and the European Union during
the past three decades reveals the emergence of a new regime of marginality.
This regime generates forms of poverty that are neither residual, nor cyclical
or transitional, but inscribed in the future of contemporary societies insofar as
they are fed by the ongoing fragmentation of the wage labour relationship, the
functional disconnection of dispossessed neighbourhoods from the national and
global economies, and the reconfiguration of the welfare state in the polarizing
city. Based on a methodical comparison between the black American ghetto
and the French working-class banlieue at century’s turn, this article spotlights
three distinctive spatial properties of ‘advanced marginality’ – territorial fixation
and stigmatization, spatial alienation and the dissolution of ‘place’, and the loss
of a hinterland – and draws out their implications for the formation of the
‘precariat’ in postindustrial societies.

Click here to download this paper.