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The more-than-human city


Franklin, A, The more-than-human city, The Sociological Review, 65, (2) pp. 202-217. ISSN 0038-0261 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 The Author

DOI: doi:10.1111/1467-954X.12396


That the modern city should be a purified space of human habitation, a humanist citadel, constructed for, and by humanity alone, was an implicit assumption in urban studies until recently. We might say that urban studies has always been part of this humanist fantasy since it is hard to find a time when non-human elements and actants were not important to the life chances of cities everywhere. Not surprisingly, in 1970 Ray Pahl paid little attention to the non-human world but since then the politics of the ecologically minded and technical city has been populated by more and more instances of our dealings with what Latour calls the ‘extended democracy’ of other species and things. This paper extends this understanding by showing how many natural forces, species, technologies and materialities became entangled in the social, cultural and political life of contemporary cities. Using illustrations from Asian, European, American and Australasian cities, it shows how environmental and technical forces (such as fire, engineering, theory and flood) become incorporated into the life, subjectivities and structures of modern cities; how animals have become important companions to urbanites whose social bonds have fragmented; how animals and objects have been used to signify contested spaces; how they, together with other material objects and forces, enter into dialectical ‘more-than-human’ politics, how they form and embody the values and interests of particular city groups and how they become the focus and voice of otherwise difficult political, moral and ethical values. It shows, in other words, how they have disturbed the politics of the city creating new, more-than-human political interests and movements around their ‘residency’, lines of flight and alliances with humans.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:cosmopolitics, city, science and technology studies, Latour, non-human
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Urban sociology and community studies
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Other culture and society
Objective Field:Other culture and society not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Franklin, A (Professor Adrian Franklin)
ID Code:111619
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:31
Deposited By:School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2016-09-26
Last Modified:2017-11-29

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