Social Justice and the City (Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation Ser.)

Social Justice and the City (Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation Ser.)

David Harvey

Language: English

Pages: 368

ISBN: 0820334030

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Throughout his distinguished and influential career, David Harvey has defined and redefined the relationship between politics, capitalism, and the social aspects of geographical theory. Laying out Harvey’s position that geography could not remain objective in the face of urban poverty and associated ills, Social Justice and the City is perhaps the most widely cited work in the field.

Harvey analyzes core issues in city planning and policy―employment and housing location, zoning, transport costs, concentrations of poverty―asking in each case about the relationship between social justice and space. How, for example, do built-in assumptions about planning reinforce existing distributions of income? Rather than leading him to liberal, technocratic solutions, Harvey’s line of inquiry pushes him in the direction of a “revolutionary geography,” one that transcends the structural limitations of existing approaches to space. Harvey’s emphasis on rigorous thought and theoretical innovation gives the volume an enduring appeal. This is a book that raises big questions, and for that reason geographers and other social scientists regularly return to it.

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the 0'25 per cent level of significance. But, it is clear that the two tests are not independent of each other. In fact, joining the two tests in this manner may (and frequently does) involve us in a conflict in statistical logic. The social process tests 4' Conceptual Problems of Urban Planning rely upon independence in each item of data if their assumptions are not to be violated, yet the spatial statistics are explicitly concerned with measuring the degree of spatial dependence in the data.

are other even more complicated problems involved here, for the social price people are forced to pay for access to certain facilities is something which can vary from the simple direct cost involved in transport to the emotional and psychological price imposed upon an individual who has an intense resistance to doing something (the kind of price which may be extorted, for example, from someone who has to take a means test to qualify for welfare) . These social and psychological barriers are im­

and control in the interests of particular groups in society (speci­ fically, the industrial and financial community together with the middle class) rather than in the interests of society as a whole (see Bernal, 1 9 7 1 ; Rose and Rose, 1969) . With these perspectives we are better able to understand the general thrust of scientific advancement hidden within the recurrent scientific revolutions which Kuhn has so perceptively described. It has frequently been questioned whether Kuhn's analysis

designates as counter-revolutionaries, even though a significant anomaly (the combination of inflation and unem­ ployment) exists as a pressing challenge to the Keynesian orthodoxy. But there is something very important in this term which requires analysis. It seems intuitively plausible to think. of the movement of ideas in the social sciences as a movement based on revolution and counter-revolution, in contrast to the natural sciences to which such a notion does not appear so immediately

contemporary capitalist economy with interest on capital and increments in rental value have, as a consequence, become as significant to the evolution of capitalism as have increments in output. The confusion between rent and rate of return on capital also arises in urban land-use theory. The point is that rent can, if necessary, be represented as a problem in defining a social rate of return on capital. The problem of rent is then resolved into one of a transfer payment out of this social rate

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