Right to the City (If You Want It): Marshall Berman and Urban Culture

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This article examines how Marshall Berman’s writings on urban culture and politics illuminate and extends our understanding of the role that culture plays in Henri Lefebvre's emancipatory notion of the right to the city, a role that tends to be underplayed by contemporary critical urbanists. The article begins by summarising Berman’s arguments about culture and the right to the city. Berman understands culture in two ways that are helpful. The first is urban culture as spectacle and the second is culture as appropriation. The article then reviews Berman’s account of the birth of hip-hop from the South Bronx in order to demonstrate how urban culture is imbricated in the right to the city before discussing the implications and challenges posed by Berman’s arguments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-185
JournalJournal of Urban Cultural Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015

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© 2015 Intellect Ltd. This is an author produced version of a paper published in Journal of Urban Cultural Studies. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.

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