Culture and Globalization

Sep 23

Summarize briefly what you take to be a key idea from each of these articles: Harvey on “flexible accumulation” and either one of the two Sassen articles. Then, apply one of those key ideas to either the Crockett or the Bentley articles. In other words, how does the key idea offered by Harvey or Sassen help us understand issues raised in the Crockett or Bentley?

Posts are due by 1pm, Wednesday, September 26.

59 comments so far

  1. msirico
    5:19 pm - 9-25-2012

    The David Harvey article, “Flexible Accumulation through Urbanization,” claims that urbanization is highly important when understanding capitalism. As the urban process changes, so does development for the rest of the nation. inter-urban competition for space creates development in life-style, cultural form, produced, and political/consumer based innovations. the want for favorable ‘business climate’ pushes urban communities to want to attract businesses to bringing economic development. Cities also have low income populations, and the growth of poverty has led to many different developments such as entrepreneurship in the low-income community. “Symbolic capital,” the collection of luxury goods asserting the wealth and prosperity of the owner, has grown in importance and amount since the 1970s, with even the middle-class prescribing.
    Saskia Sassen, in her article entitled “Going beyond the National State in the USA: the Politics of Minoritized Groups in Global Cities,” makes the claim that by living in cities, those who normally hold little to no power can gain a public presence. Citise create the area for informal politics and the informal political actor. In cities, especially global cities, a great variety of issues arise because of the great amounts of diverse people living in a city. And in cities, these issues become street politics, and are demonstrated in rallies, protests, movements, even squatting. politics are for the people, by the people. Because large amounts of the underprivileged live in cities, their issues can become forefront, and the “excluded” are included. An example in the text is immigrant women. Though many are housewives, and as migrants normally don’t have a say in legal politics, they do have a say in the city. Because many of the people they deal with are in their own communities, they have power in dealing with their local schools, hospitals, police, etc.
    It is easy to connect the Sassen article to the article written by Crockett Jr., “The Brixton: It’s new, happening, and another example of African-American historical ‘swagger-jacking.'” This article brings to attention the changing demographics of parts of Washington D.C, including the historically African-American U-Street. Sassen’s point that cities allow a public sphere where the underprivileged can gain presence, can be adapted to the Crockett article. Previously, the black populous of washington d.c felt neglected and abandoned, but they gained presence in the city and became a cultural and city staple.

    • sbannach
      11:21 am - 9-28-2012

      I agree with your analysis of the Sassen and Crockett pieces. Interestingly enough, one of the restaurants Crockett mentions in the article, Busboys and Poets, is one of my favorite places to eat in DC. One of the reasons I enjoy it so much is because of the very different atmosphere it has to offer. So I can say from first-hand experience that these restaurants and bars certainly do bring a new issue to the forefront.

      • shanaz
        12:12 pm - 9-28-2012

        I also liked your analysis of the Sassen and Crockett articles.

  2. hsingh4
    8:14 pm - 9-25-2012

    The David Harvey article, “Flexible Accumulation through Urbanization,” claims that urbanization and capitalism are interconnected. To understand how capitalism functions, one must understand Urbanization. Inter-urban competition has opened spaces within which the new and more flexible labor processes could be more easily implanted and has opened more flexible geographical mobility. Harvey also states that urbanization has led to an increase of “symbolic capital”, which is the collection of luxury goods asserting the social and economic prestige of the owner.
    Saskia Sassen, in her article entitled “Going beyond the National State in the USA: the Politics of Minoritized Groups in Global Cities,” states that just by living in cities, someone who would normally have no say in public affairs, can gain power. These non-state actors can gain visibility as individuals and come out of invisibility. She also talks about the “global city” which operates as a partly de-nationalized platform for global capital and, at the same time is emerging as a key site for the most astounding mix of people from all around the world. Basically this global city allows globalization to be understood and enacted in strategic geographic locales according to a hierarchy of importance to the operation of the global system of finance and trade. Today’s global cities bring together the most globalized sectors of capital and the new trans-national professionals, on one end, and a growing number of immigrants and minorities in a single space. This leads to a greater variety of issues in global cities, which then become street politics.
    Now let’s connect the Sassen article to the one written by Crockett Jr., “The Brixton: It’s new, happening, and another example of African-American historical ‘swagger-jacking.’” The Crockett article brings to light the changing demographics of Washington D.C, once so marred by murder it was nicknamed Dodge City. Sassen states that those who lack power, are disadvantaged, outsider, or discriminated minorities, can gain a presence in public domains. During the time of slavery, he black populous of Washington and all around the country were treated in an unfair manner, but now have a major presence in the city.

    • btaborga
      10:08 pm - 9-26-2012

      I agree with Sassen’s point and what you bring up in your post that as cities emerge in areas that were once abandoned and less significant, people that once had no say in what goes on will now have a say. My question here would be, how do they gain a presence in public dominion? Would they still be separated from what goes on in this new developed urban city somehow?

      • tmarchan
        11:52 pm - 9-26-2012

        There were some parts that were unclear to me in Sassen’s article but the way you explained it gave me some clarification . I like how you stated that politics are for the people, by the people. This is an issue that we are seeing a lot in the news.

    • rgomez5
      2:09 am - 9-28-2012

      I think that for us it is very interesting having Washington DC so close and see how some of its neighborhoods have change for better, maybe this can be related to what Crockett Jr. mentions in his article.

    • sarahariri
      12:39 pm - 9-28-2012

      I like how you specified that to understand capitalism, one must understand urbanization. This is really evident with the article on the gentrification of the U street area in DC.

  3. kmilburn1957
    9:12 pm - 9-25-2012

    Author David Harvey, in his article on Flexible accumulation through Urbanization, concentrated on the effect of people’s perception of wealth and its role in urbanization and economy. Advertisements and the portrayal of the rich and famous’ living and spending habits influence people’s purchases and self-worth. By owning these pricey items, the owners have been given a certain cachet of wealth and domination. Styles change, the “it” items evolve along with consumer interest, and the perception of wealth changes yet again. People move up and down the economic ladder, perhaps due to job loss or relocation. Knowing what the trappings of the wealthy are, but being unable to afford them, has led to flexible accumulation and alternative ways of acquiring wealth. Those is urban areas developed a system of informalization that allowed them to survive on very low income. Informalization deals with the legal production and trading of services, as well as those illegal. These informal societies are made up of minorities, impoverished and illegal and legal immigrants.
    Saskia Sassen discusses the importance of these informal societies in her article, Going Beyond the National State in the USA: The Politics of Minoritized Groups in Global Cities. She believes that citizenship is “a dynamic interaction between inclusion and exclusion”. Although legal citizenship gives one certain rights, illegal citizens can be just as enmeshed in political statements. Her example of an undocumented wife’s necessary interactions between public schools, health agencies and various public agencies made a good argument for her being a citizen by her interactions within the community. She also brought up the large presence and voice an informal society of minorities has within the political arenas. They can make politicians react to their issues, through their sheer numbers represented in rallies or marches, or the issues that arise in their inclusion in public systems.
    In Harvey’s article, he referred to the influence symbolic capitalism has on urbanization and the upper class communities and their built environments. Gentrification of an urban area has made that a status symbol. The developers of the built communities can re-create the original location either realistically, imagined or re-created to fit a design plan. They can choose focus on the history, sense of community or possibly styling. Crockett mentions this as a problem in his article about The Brixton, an area in Washington, DC. The developers determined it beneficial to stay true to the history of the area, and kept its black heritage as a theme in their recreation of the area. The author bemoans this attempt, wondering why it couldn’t have celebrated it’s blackness without the introduction of high class interlopers.

    • ksalvucc
      1:16 pm - 9-26-2012

      Great analysis at the end of your response. I thought the way that you explained what Crockett’s problem was with what happened to this ares was great, in regards to what Crockett said about “high class interlopers”.

    • tmarchan
      11:57 pm - 9-26-2012

      The idea of Sassen being a citizen by her interactions within the community really is really important because eventhough she is not able to vote or have a lot of the rights that formal citizens have she is still part of the community. Great analysis!

    • grivas3
      2:11 am - 9-28-2012

      Your response was very clear and it helped me understand more clearly the Harvey’s article. I think is important that you emphasized on the advertising cities do so people spend more money and becomes a place where people bring their business.

    • sarahariri
      12:42 pm - 9-28-2012

      Your analysis of symbolic wealth in the Harvey article really reminds me of the “life in debt” documentary. We don’t realize the origin of our so-called “status symbols.”

    • jhanse10
      3:27 pm - 9-28-2012

      Your response describing Flexible Accumulation was very interesting to read! After class discussion, I now understand that wealth and consumption are key to this idea. I did not take this from the reading the artical the first time but i reel like you analysis gave me even more clarity. Thanks!

    • ngibson3
      5:51 pm - 9-28-2012

      It was great how you looked at the articles in both a positive and negative light based around your main beginning theme.

  4. btaborga
    11:27 pm - 9-25-2012

    For this week’s readings the main topic was pretty much the growth of urban areas in cities and how urbanization is important to understand capitalism. Various authors have different opinions and thoughts regarding the topic. Geographer David Harvey in his article (“Flexible Accumulation”) talks about urbanization and how it is critical to understand the historical geography of capitalism. He writes a lot on how the devaluation in the 1970’s and how this put incredible pressure on the employment base of many urban regions. Harvey also notes the different types of competitions in the “entrepreneurial city”. He also writes about the increase in the urban areas and how it is tied to capitalism and governments. This is one of the topics I wanted to talk about. The fact that governments are kind of forced to modernize their cities, in order to make them more attractive to a consumer kind of industry. This promotes industries, and investors to invest money into many of these projects such as stadiums, mall, parks, buildings etc… Harvey says “You see a rapid switch of capital switch into housing, infrastructure, housing market etc…” In Saskia Saseen’s article on “When the City itself becomes a technology of war” she explores more of the effects of urban cities as they grow. She explores most of the negative effects like (New military asymmetry, global warming, and street violence). As cities grow bigger you will see more pollution, violence and these cities become a military target, especially for terrorist groups. She analyzes the case of Gaza and Mumbai regarding security in these big urban cities… “The disarticulation between national security and human security is becoming increasingly visible.” She also talks of the effects of global warming; she argues that many major cities with high levels of population might flood these major cities. When global warming hits these cities, it will hit them hard. She later concludes that climate change and possible wars among cities are clearly visible and will affect us all regardless of race, religion, language etc… To tie it then to Bentley’s article on “Can the Centers Hold” we can see that in this article Bentley pretty much writes about how Cleveland, Cincinnati and Columbus Ohio are growing as cities. This is where we can bring in David Harvey, he talks about the flow of capital in urbanization and in this article we can see it happening. Harvey also talks about governments pushing cities to be more “luxurious” and that is also happening in Ohio. There is huge demand for apartments, offices, and jobs in the area. These are areas that used to be dangerous parts of the city, where no one would live. Now that it has improves (by placing stadiums, new buildings and luxurious apartments) there is huge demand to live in the area. To tie Saskia Saseen’s article to this, there can be negative effects on a growing urban center. It becomes a nationwide target since there is a large population living there. Terrorists can now aim at these cities to harm the United States. Also there is a rise in violence and in pollution as the cities get bigger. Bigger cities can be good and appealing to attract investment however it can also be affected by environmental issues and threatened by enemies.

    • ksalvucc
      1:24 pm - 9-26-2012

      I thought that was a great analysis of the articles. I particularly liked how you stated what the main topic was for this week’s readings.

  5. tmarchan
    2:15 am - 9-26-2012

    A key idea from David Harvey in the document titled “Flexible Accumulation through Urbanization”, is class practices and the construction of community. This is mainly geared to the preservation or enhancement of exchange values and culture of people in a community. What I understand from this is that members of a community will form organizations to maintain the “tone” of the community space. This is to prevent outsiders from coming in with ideas or values that they are not accustomed to. They want their culture to remain the same.
    A key idea in Sassen’s document , “ Going Beyond the National State in the USA..” is that new network technologies further strengthen the growing intensity transaction among the cities worldwide creating strategic cross border geographies. This stood out to me because it is a perfect example of globalization making the world “smaller” by connecting people around the globe. From professionals, to immigrants, and traders, everyone is connected in some way.
    I want to connect Harvey’s idea to Crockett’s because Crockett’s article is an example of how a population, in this case African Americans feel that people are taking what is theirs or “swagger jacking”. In this case it is U St also known as chocolate city. The business’s that opened up in U St., Brixton, Blackbyrd and Marvin , Busboys, and Poets, and Eatonville are all trying to preserve “black history” because of the population of African Americans in the U St neighborhood. This preservation seems artificial to Crockett because it is not what he grew up with. Crockett mentions that there is a certain territorial connection that comes with culture. That statement is related to Harvey’s idea of populations in a certain area wanting to keep the “tone” of their community. Crockett mentions territory which Harvey describes as spatial practice.

    • saehwan72
      8:08 pm - 9-27-2012

      I really enjoyed your response and clarification as well as a nice brief summary of what Harvey’s article represented. Your comment about how Sassen’s article shows “how the world is getting smaller through globalization” allowed me to better understand the article.

  6. emyers
    2:51 am - 9-26-2012

    So, in Harveys, “Flexible Accumulation Through Urbanization”, he describes flexible accumulation as basically a more global, diverse, open-minded and opportunistic market that left employees, businesses and entrepreneurs with more freedom to pursue their economic goals the way they viewed best by creating more room for public opinion and straying away from traditional practices of total state control, and what ultimately led to flexible accumulation was the change in society and politics from capitalism to urbanization and the emergence of competition in the marketplace between individuals. He argues that politics and economics transform through the challenging sociological, ideological, and cultural movements and vice versa, but the things that happen in either realm make us react in one way or another which over time creates a big change in our institutions and the way they are run and processed, which is how urbanization came to be. The movement and change caused by urbanization introduced the opportunity for people of all different ethnicities, religions, and levels of society to co-exist and basically plan for themselves how they wanted to be situated and associated with the rest of society. Harvey highlights the fact that this kind of loosely-run society allows room for greater inequality because the state is not facilitating the market and is letting the civil society get involved which unfortunately results in some individuals succeeding way beyond the capacity of others. He says that the way we place ourselves in society is based on a variety of social interactions leaving the rich to form communities together while the poor are on the street right next to them taking in all the injustices and cruelties that this urban society has somewhat created. This homeless community creates a place where the people are either cooperating and relying on each other as a means to survive, or competing to the fullest to gain all possible resources. In regards to spatial arrangements, Sassen argues that the way we are placed within a city affects how violent a conflict will be, for example in an asymmetric war, if the conventional army is after the rebels and they are mixed in with the rest of society, the conventional army may not want to harm the lives of others who are not involved in the conflict which makes it more difficult for them to carry out violent attacks but if it were just an entire city of rebels, than the whole thing could be easily destroyed. He does say thought that this new urbanization and global society is making cities vulnerable to a new kind of urban war, that is embedded in the society because of the dense populations and less restricting governments, it makes room for corruption, for things to go unnoticed, and makes it easy for crime to transcend national borders.
    In Crocketts article, he argues the fact that no matter how a region develops over time, it will still always have its background and history that is so important to those that were a part of the previous, unchanged society, and that trying to extend the culture and maximizing it by those who were not a part of it ends up devaluing the originality and true culture. It is true that over time, society changes and the integration of foreigners affects the turn culture will take next, but to truly understand a culture one has to be immersed in it.

    • vorozhko
      5:35 pm - 9-27-2012

      I would like to ask you what do you consider to be the “true culture” and the “unchanged society”?
      I might be wrong, but the last part of the comment sounded like certain parts of the city remain unchanged, that urban development just does not come across certain parts of the city. The flow of immigrants, new businesses shape the urban space, and I believe that urban culture is very much shaped by all the economic, social and political changes. I think constant change lies in the very nature of the urban space. I am also convinced that we can not and should not try to find the “golden age” of the city, as, I think every generation tries to. Urban space can not remain the same for decades, so the notion that “everything is not the same as it used to be 20 years ago” just does not make sense. Some residents will move or leave, while new people are constantly coming in leaving their cultural footprint, that will rest within the urban culture and spirit, merging with the different cultural traits of the new residents and the new times.

      • rgomez5
        2:16 am - 9-28-2012

        Maybe what could be called “Golden age” could be a positive economic cycle experienced in the city. Maybe some local industry that happened to bloom, but as we have seen before labor costs will raise or wrong policies may drive these companies to a new place and bring to an end the good economic times.

  7. vorozhko
    2:53 am - 9-26-2012

    The author of the essay “Going beyond the national state in the USA: the politics of minorized groups ” defends the idea that modern city becomes a microcosm of informal political practices the nature of which might not be urban or even bounded by national agenda. According to the article, cities around the globe become cosmopolitan to larger extent, as cities’ economies are fueled by international corporations, which attracts global professionals and thus encourage free movements of individuals around the world. City politics is highly diverse in the issues it represents: from street politics to NGO’s to community organizers. City politics, hence, attracts greater number of actors, introducing a phenomenon informal political actor. The author illustrates it with an example of undocumented immigrants, who, despite not being citizens, get involved in the ongoing political process. In other words, city politics allows various citizenship practices, such as participating in protests, campaigns etc.
    David Harvey’s article “Flexible Accumulation Through Urbanization. Reflections on “post-modernism” in the American City” talks about urbanization as one of the patterns of capitalism. The author examines how postmodern capitalist culture shaped urban architecture. The author examines how blooming (at certain times) city economies were trying to attract new businesses and investments along with wealthy, influential and powerful citizens while less privileged and disadvantaged citizens were establishing an inner street culture where relationships of mutual support were becoming more and more commercialized, while illegal practices were dominating the streets, as the poor neighborhoods were struggling for survival on a daily basis.
    In his article Stephen Crockett writes about cultural and societal transformations i his home city of Washington DC. He states that not in a distant past Washington was called a “Chocolate city”, whereas now black culture of the city is being forgotten and transformed. while residents are living their homes for various reasons. The author writes that he does not relate to his city as he used to. I believe that Crockett’s piece goes very much in tacit with the articles discussed above. Washington, along with it’s suburbs is expanding dramatically, attracting people from around the world to study, do business, work, etc in the area. The city is working to attract and keep those people in the city, which results in the expansion of entreatment business and a hike in housing costs, which often forces city residents to move as they are not able to sustain a living among “global business professionals”.

    • btaborga
      10:28 pm - 9-26-2012

      I like that you bring up that in Corckett’s article he mentions that Washington D.C. was once the “Chocolate City” and now those traditions have been forgotten. People have started to move out as you mention. However the customs from the area remain. Companies, shops, restaurants etc. have taken advantage of the culture that remains in the area to sell their product and make it appealing to the new population moving into this new developed urban city.

      • vorozhko
        4:46 pm - 9-27-2012

        Exactly, I believe that it could hardly be called the same culture, as it’s more a marketing campaign than the culture itself. New bars and shop do not try to preserve the culture, but rather make a profit off it’s most peculiar traits.

  8. navery
    3:02 am - 9-26-2012

    I noted that each of the articles had a different take on the same subject. The effect of urbanization, globalization, on the population seemed to be the topic stem.Each article wrote about the social effects and the overall effects. The first article written by Harvey and it concluded that urbanization causes a number of different things. Although admittedly, I had a difficult time reading and understanding Harvey’s article, I believe he was talking about how flexible society becomes after urbanization. This would include the number of, the type of, and the needs of each social group.

    Sassen’s article; however, put up a new and interesting point of view. He wrote how people that are minorities, and people that discriminated against are usually forced to live life with less than their vital rights. As a result of their outcast title they don’t have much of a voice in society or the government. However, Sassen further writes that when these people come together in urban cities their population becomes more concentrated and they gain power.

    Crockett’s article on Brixton was very interesting. He wrote about the Brixton, that was once mainly populated by black people. The black culture that lived in that city was somehow preserved and celebrated even after many of the black people left by force and by choice. Crockett’s dismay was clear as he described the hipster’s phony attempts to make the black history cool and cultural. He emphasized the fact that many of the safety features put into the town like stop signs were only added after the black people left. His pointed out that no one cared about the people of the black minority until they had actually left.

    • saehwan72
      8:13 pm - 9-27-2012

      I actually really like the fact that you separated all the responses. It allowed me to see accurately which article you were discussing. I also liked the fact that you pointed out Sassen’s view on the less fortunate or as you described “outcasts” can come together to gain power and recognition.

    • grivas3
      2:27 am - 9-28-2012

      I found your response easy to understand because it described the main points of each article. I liked how you emphasize Crocketts opinion how the black culture in this town was phony and not real.

  9. albuquerque
    5:56 am - 9-26-2012

    The key concepts I used to address the issues/ideas raised in the article “Can the Centers Hold” by Bentley came from the Sassen article “Going Beyond the National State in the USA” and the Harvey article. The main idea pulling them all together is the importance of cities/urbanization in today’s society, specifically looking at it from an economic view point.
    Sassen talked about the both past and present importance of inclusion in our greater society and the ideas surrounding informal politics. I found this interesting when taking into consideration the rate at which our nation is diversifying, the current immigration trends and then applying all of this to the fact that presidential elections are coming up so soon. It makes me wonder how this practice of informal politics and its concentration in cities will affect the elections.
    I relate this to Harvey with the same thoughts. Harvey more or less claims that urbanization is a key component to the way the rest of a country works. Harvey sees cities as centers of commerce and as “trend setters” for the rest of the nation. If you were to apply that and Sassen’s idea about cities being areas of informal politics and areas of inclusion I really wonder how this will play out in the upcoming elections. Will the rest of the country really follow the cities and should they considering the concept that the cities get “special” informal political practices more targeted at their specific populations?
    I wonder all of this then think about the Bentley article. The idea that cities are trying to re-vamp themselves makes me very curious as to what will happen to the theories of Sassen and Harvey. Will these strong efforts to change the current system dispel Sassen’s idea that cities are areas of over all inclusion? Will the same efforts change the dynamics that make Harvey think cities are have such a large influence on the rest of the nation? I truly wonder. Personally I think if the cities change / develop as the Bentley article suggests they will, then Sassins and Harveys ideas will be dispelled on the simple fact that they apply to current cities not the remodeled “better” cities that are being worked on.

    • acoreas12
      12:39 pm - 9-28-2012

      I like that you connected the topics from the reading to current events like the upcoming presidential election. The question regarding the informal politics and its impact with the elections is a very interesting. I wonder if the candidates even know about this informal system. It’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out in the end.

    • ngibson3
      5:55 pm - 9-28-2012

      I really liked how you knew more about one of the authors, Sassen, and incorporated that into your paper. It’s a good practice to always look at the authors background and credentials.

  10. jhanse10
    11:27 am - 9-26-2012

    This weeks’ articles can be connected in many aspects but it all depends on which approach one is looking to argue. It was easy when reading to get lost and have difficulty finding the way back to the message trying to be delivered.
    Personally, I found David Harvey’s article “Flexible Accumulation through Urbanization” hard to follow. His whole article centers on the idea that in order to understand the historical geography of capitalism you must understand the idea of urbanization. Throughout his article he touches on the different classes of economic wealth that can be found within a city and emphasizes how these different classes compare to one another in the big picture. Does the poor become the minority or the majority in newly developed cities? Does this factor determine the say they have in their community?
    Saskia Sassen is a well-known sociologist who often focuses her articles on analyzing the social capital that derives from big urban cities. In the article assigned, she writes about the different cultures you will find in the city and how each community of people influence the city in different ways. This article “Going Beyond the National Sate in the USA: The politics of Minoitized groups in global cities”, sheds light on how even those within a city who are seen as a minority, can still develop power and a presence in the community. These effects of urbanization with social politics are further exemplified in Crockett’s’ article on Brixton. Crockett writes about the minority of African Americans in the DC area who were wealthy but their culture and street politics greatly impacted the area when they held no actual power positions. This also can be related to Harvey’s article because Crockett talks about how he feels like the city where he grew up at has seemed to fail at preserving the culture. Harvey discusses in his article how people in city communities strive to capture and maintains the culture tone of the area.

  11. sbannach
    11:49 am - 9-26-2012

    In “Flexible Accumulation Through Urbanization,” author David Harvey asserts that rapid urban development is a direct effect of capitalism. He argues, “[that] under the social relations of capitalism, spatial practices become imbued with class meanings” (259). He describes how low-income populations feel “trapped in space” because they do not possess the means to leave. Low-income populations in effect develop a deeper sense of community than affluent populations. Thus, flexible accumulation has “deeply affected class structures and political-economic possibilites” (262). The great gap between these two populations has caused economic structures to change as well. Since affluent populations are more interested in the aesthetic appeal of spatial practices, the “standardized production of capital accumulation” has shifted from mass production to what Harvey deems “symbolic capital,” or a collection of luxury goods. This post-modern trend of flexible accumulation has lead to urban areas to focus on “immense accumulation of spectacles,” where the aesthetic appeal of an urban area has begun to trump the American idea of downtown areas representing authority and corporate domination (266).

    Sociologist Sasika Sassen argues in her article “Going Beyond the National State in the USA” that globalization has caused an increase of importance of non-state actors. In cities, minority populations tend to experience discrimination and other disadvantages. However, Sassen argues that when such groups organize and band together in urban areas, they can gain presence which can translate to power and influence. Since cities are so densely populated with diverse peoples, it allows for a convergence of ideas, leading to new issues to be brought into the limelight. This it what she means when she refers to a “global city”–an urban area where people from all over the world can live and engage in “street politics.”

    Sassen’s argument is furthered by Stephen A. Crockett Jr.’s Washington Post article, “The Brixton: It’s new, happening and another example of African-American historical ‘swagger-jacking.’” Crockett describes how the U Street borough of Washington DC has in recent years experienced a growth in Afro-centric restaurants and bars. This in itself is exactly what Sassen was referring to; a minority group has banded together to gain presence in an urban area. These African-American centered restaurants have taken advantage of their influence to promote their ideas, including African-American history. Thus, Crockett’s article echos Sassen’s as a real-life example of her theory.

    • kmilburn1957
      6:40 pm - 9-27-2012

      Nicely put! Your description of flexible accumulation was described clearly and precisely. I also think your sentence about densely populated cities allowing for a convergence of ideas and new issues was right on target with tying in globalization and these articles. Good job- and thanks for the good descriptions- it helps me understand the ideas better myself.

    • msirico
      11:44 am - 9-28-2012

      wow, your description of Harvey’s article is great! It’s really on point, very precise and clear. Your response definitely helped me understand that one much better!
      I agree with your analysis of Crockett’s article. U-Street can be used as a great model to show how minority groups can gain presence in a society, even out of a political area, and into a social one. U street has long been famous for african american culture, but now it’s becoming a scene for a “new, trendy D.C.”

  12. shill10
    11:56 am - 9-26-2012

    David Harvey’s article “Flexible Accumulation Through Urbanization” discusses the fact that after the early 1970s the United States began to transition into a post-modern society in which our political economy became more capitalist. He thinks that cities are a good place to look into to see this change. In cities, there have been displacements of minority and immigrant populations, there has been a rise in unemployment, and there has been a rise in cultural movements. Harvey believes that people need to understand urbanization in order to understand the history of geographical capitalism (pg. 254). The rise of urbanization led to competition for labor, for the space in cities, for power within cities, and for governmental support. Communities within these cities vary depending on class. The poor want the space as a claim to their “turf”. The rich only see the space as a place that will bring in more business and money.
    I really liked the Saskia Sassen article “Going Beyond the National State in the USA: The Politics of Monoritized Groups in Global Cities”. This article was about how today’s global cities are finding new politics through informal political actors. These actors are NGOs, immigrants and refugees. Political activities within the urban world are focusing on citizen and human rights. The Harvey article relates because Harvey also believes that through cities and urbanization, politics are changing in America. Harvey states that minorities in cities are unhappy with their living situations and that the poor are remaining poor. Sassen states that minorities are trying to make a way for themselves in politics through these informal inner-city politics.
    The Crockett article “The Brixton: It’s new, happening and another example of African-American historical ‘swagger-jacking’” is written by a man who believes that flexible accumulation has pushed the poor out of their communities. The article discusses a section of U Street in DC that has lost its historically Black culture through non-Black accumulation of the area. Crockett believes the restaurants and entertainment on the street now have a fake aura about them because they are not really part of the community that was there before the Black population was pushed out

    • acoreas12
      12:25 pm - 9-28-2012

      Harvey’s article was definitely very hard to get through, but your summary really grasped the key concepts. I liked the different perspectives you said the poor and the rich have with the idea of “space”. I completely agree, and I think it has to do primarily with the fact that the only home for the poor is where they live(turf), whereas the rich can have multiple homes and move with ease when they want to.

  13. ngibson3
    11:57 am - 9-26-2012

    An overarching theme running through this weeks readings is urban growth, structure, and interactions; and how this global urbanization is important to understanding the prevalence of capitalist ideals in the global economy and the cities role in the global economy. In the Article “Flexible Accumulation through Urbanization: Reflections on ‘Post-Modernism’ in the American City”, the author David Harvey talks about urbanizations historical importance in the development of capitalism. Cities in there want to attract international business, for development purposes, become very cosmopolitan, and attract many immigrant workers. Because of the complex structure of cities, they are mini economics in themselves, somewhat outside of the national agenda, and they are trend setters for a nation. In Saskia Sassen’s article “Going Beyond the National State in the USA”, she also talks about the development of class communities, from the natural grouping together of international workers, within a cities, give immigrant workers a voice within the politics and economies of their own communities, these informal societies. This is so important because as Harvey points out how the major cities in a country are the trend setters both culturally and economically for a nation. I think Stephen Crockett article “The Brixton: It’s new, happening and another example of African-American historical ‘swagger-jacking’” fits in perfectly with the articles above by Harvey and Sassen’s, because it is a case study of the author’s home town, Washington D.C. This city and its suburbs, for which we at George Mason are a part of, are growing, expanding and diversifying. In the article he is describing the changing demographics that are happening in Washington D.C., and its effect on one of the informal societies, the U-street which is historically African American. Many African Americans started settling along this street post Civil War, when they had very little power politically and economically, but through first gaining power and a voice with in their own communities, they have become a key component in the cultural, economic and political climate in the city.

    • shill10
      4:15 pm - 9-30-2012

      I really liked the idea you gave behind cities being mini economies within selves. I also like your used of cosmopolitan. It really helped tie the other two articles to Harvey’s original article. I agree that cities are trend setters for the nation.

  14. rgomez5
    12:11 pm - 9-26-2012

    In the article David Harvey, “Flexible Accumulation through Urbanization” I understand the author connects the process of urbanization and capitalism, and explains how general economic changes can generate major changes in our cities, large cities become a representation of the capitalist system and the corporation power, but at the same time city residents have more political participation through protests or any other political process, there are more political practices. He also talks about economic cycles such as the devaluation of the 70’s and the important influence it had in the urbanization process that shifted people from different areas looking for the best possible employment options. Local governments also persuade more investment in the cities in order to make them more modern and attractive for more business and that way collect more revenue and generate economic development.
    Saskira Sassan in the article “going beyond the National State in the USA” She argues that cities create climate for informal political presence, in large cities with diverse populations different important issues will emerge, and this will give the opportunity for street politics. Large cities are likely to have large number of immigrants and other groups traditionally excluded from the politically arena. However, once concentrated in a single city these groups can gain a voice and participate in the political decisions through their local communities.
    Regarding the relation between Crockett “The Brixton: it’s new happening, and another example of African American” and Sassen article. Crockett takes in consideration some areas of Washington D.C, murder and poverty was the rule in the populous black neighborhoods, which coming back from the times off slavery were treated worst than the rest of the population. These unprivileged minorities were rejected from the decision making process before, but now have gained more political presence in order to improve their living conditions in the city.

  15. jbleichn
    12:15 pm - 9-26-2012

    Harvey’s article discusses transitions in the political economy beginning in the 1970’s as some of the tenets of capitalism began to morph under increasing tendencies of capitalist organizations to move into global marketplaces and specifically within industrializing nations. He discusses the impacts on urbanization from this weakening of advanced capitalist societies and the changing and growing separations between the classes. He specifically calls out the fact that different classes in society construct their own territories within the urban setting in different ways. The impoverished or lower class cannot expand their territories by buying more, so they tend to live in small, tightly knit communities in which street level politics reign. They are resistant to generally accepted politics and the state in particular because they see them as repressive factors. Because of this resistance, these communities are perceived as externally as being dangerous. The upper class can easily expand and beautify their territory and are not reliant upon others within their communities in the same way. They see the state and politics as “controllable” and not as a threat.
    The Sassen article brings forth some similar points, but from the perspective that globalization of the marketplace and widening of the class gaps within society have contributed towards the introduction of new “political actors”. These political actors are the impoverished or otherwise disadvantaged and their stage is the cities in which they dwell. Although they are not the traditional power brokers of the past, they possess their own level of power and are a new element to be reckoned with on the political scene.
    The Crockett Jr. article can be correlated to the Harvey article in the discussion of the author that much of Washington DC used to be impoverished and as such, a small, tight knit community with its own culture emerged. As the affluent build out the city, beautify it, and generally expand their territory, they are removing the cultural feel that was once characterized by the name “Chocolate City”.

  16. saehwan72
    12:19 pm - 9-26-2012

    David Harvey’s “Flexible Accumulation Through Urbanization” discusses how space is defined in terms of cultural development. The division of space and how it affects the lives of those who occupy these spaces are a key focus throughout his writing. Harvey also goes into detail about the economic changes/difficulties that have led to the development of the post modern era. Harvey goes on to state how urbanization plays a key role in our understanding of what capitalism is today. “The use of increasingly scarce resources to capture development has meant that the social consumption of the poor was neglected in order to provide benefits to keep the rich and powerful in town.” The quote above, in essence summed up the problems of urbanization for me. In Harvey’s eyes the city was set up as an attraction to lure those of whom that have money and power to the city, to develop economic stability within the city. However Sassen provides a different outlook on cities and how they became a space for impoverished individuals to develop their own subculture through mutual struggle. In the article “Can the Centers Hold?” the author describes in details the redevelopment of three cities in Ohio: Columbus, Cincinnati, and Cleveland. I believe this article goes hand in hand with that of David Harvey’s. The idea is centralized on remodeling these three cities, “to capitalize on a renewed interest in city living.” When speaking about Cleveland, it shows how a city can begin to prosper and fall apart shortly after. “Everyone kind of expected in the 1990’s that if we build it they will come.” Shows the capitalistic ideals of those who develop these cities. Cincinnati is almost in the same boat as Cleveland, both are cities looking to regain the status they both held in the past. Columbus however is shown in a different light. Ohio’s largest city is the only city out of the three that are mentioned, that has had a growth in population. It also has a steady stream of capital coming in through Ohio State University. What has sparked these changes in Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus has a lot to do with the shift in demographics. A younger generation is looking to take the spots of those of an older generation that have left the city. It provides insight on the flaws of urbanization and also how these flaws are allowing for these cities to start new with a new generation of inhabitants. Crockett’s article I believe relates to the essays written by Sassen. While Harvey continued to state the importance of economic elements during urbanization, I think that Sassen focused more on the cultural aspects. “Yes. Culture is weird in the way that air is weird:You need it, you breathe it, but you don’t own the air. Crockett’s article is centralized on the idea that Washington D.C. once nicknamed the chocolate city, is now being reinvented using the same African American cultural themes. The exploitation of African American cultural aspects has coincidentally started taking place right around the time that African Americans began to move further our of the City. the quote above shows how urbanization continues to effect culture in prominent U.S. cities.

    • kmilburn1957
      6:49 pm - 9-27-2012

      Saehwan- I love how you word things! The text may confuse me but you have a way of rewording it so it makes complete sense. I really liked your description, through Harvey’s eyes, of a city being set up as a lure to attract more businesses and wealthy consumers into it’s folds. Then you tied it in nicely to the article about the cities in Ohio and how it worked out for them. Nice tie in- and nice examples!I understand it much better now 🙂

      • hakunanahtata
        1:09 pm - 10-3-2012

        Your explanation is very clear. I like how you related Harvey’s article to the three cities in Ohio. The way space and capital is distributed effects the whole city and the redistribution of capital in Ohio is going to make it possible to reenergize capitalism in the three main cities. It is interesting how Sassan discusses the marginalized subcultures developed while this flexible accumulation takes place and how they have power in numbers. Relating back to Crocketts article about DC I can see why he is upset as capital moves in to areas that used to be known as ghettos they are kicking the people out but trying to hold on to the culture that was created because of flexible accumulation. This whole topic and the way it is intertwined is fascinating.

  17. sarahariri
    12:26 pm - 9-26-2012

    Urban spaces reflect the economic structures of globalization often at first glance. Cities that are metropolitan, heavily populated, and have a notable foreign presence are usually the typical place to find globalized economics.

    “When the City Itself Becomes a Technology of War” by Saskia Sassen discusses cities and the violence that is inevitable. Sassen describes how and when global governance becomes a concrete, negative issue in cities. Sassen claims that major cities are the target for war which causes instability as well as environmental insecurity (global warming, energy crises, and water shortages or poor quality of water) and urban violence (Sassen uses Baghdad, Iraq as an example). Sassen also claims that contemporary conflicts “unsettle and weaken […] cultural diversity or cities when they lead o forced urbanization or internal displacement.”
    This relates to Stephen A. Crockett Jr.’s article on “African-American ‘Swagger-Jacking,’” which addresses the issues with gentrification in the DC area, particularly the area surrounding U Street. This gentrification, and the increase in trendy bars has pushed the locals further out as the U Street area was once less “happening” as it is today.

    Crockett describes the area as somewhere that “doesn’t feel like home,” this is an example that can be connected with Sassen’s article. As the U Street DC area becomes more and more “trendy,” it is less affordable for those who lived their lives there. This causes instability, and as stated in the article, “weakens cultural diversity and leads to forced urbanization or internal displacement.”

    • albuquerque
      4:43 am - 9-28-2012

      I honestly know nothing about DC nightlife or even what is considered “trendy” but I really wonder, if this shift to “trendy” is happening but is causing instability and is becoming too expensive for the locals, how are these places stay open? Or better yet, how are they getting the funds to continue to develop? It seems as though this may not be the root of the actual problems of the quote “weakens cultural diversity and leads to forced urbanization or internal displacement.” because if the places are staying open then I cannot see how they would really cause all this. There must be more at play here than just some new “trendy” bars, im sure it adds to these issues in some way but it cannot be the true cause. Another post talked about the city be eve changing, maybe this is just the change that was bound to happen and actually has nothing to do with private businesses re-vamping or further developing their look/feel.

    • sbannach
      11:27 am - 9-28-2012

      The way you connected the other Sassen piece to the Crockett article is very interesting. I agree that perhaps the problem is that people are being pushed out due to increasing costs. However, I venture to guess that it goes a little bit beyond the prices of the bars and restaurants. I think maybe he was saying that it all just seems very contrived, that the city is trying too hard to focus on a single population of people. Maybe it is displeasing because it all seems so fake.

      However, like I said, I think you made a great analysis of the articles!

    • msirico
      11:38 am - 9-28-2012

      I like the way you connected the Sassen piece to Crockett’s article. People are most definitely being pushed out of areas that they have long lived in, because of rising costs and even just unhappiness in the changes of the area. the ‘gentrification’ of U street is a major concern, as it does cause instability.

  18. acoreas12
    12:35 pm - 9-26-2012

    In “Flexible Accumulation,” David Harvey looks at society’s shift from a modern to a post-modernism society after the 1973 economic crisis, in which unemployment levels were high and wages were for the most part stagnant. From this point in time, Harvey argues that we saw a “new regime” emerge for creating profit, known as flexible accumulation. Through the development of entrepreneurial cities, inter-urban competition intensified and governments pushed themselves to acquire the “business climate” for economic development and they tried to reinvent and invest in their cities to become more attractive to consumers.

    The article by Saskia Sassen “Going Beyond the National State in the USA,” looks at the emergence of new types of politics in global cities for minoritzed groups who have felt invisible. She talks about the “opening for non-state actors to enter international arenas,” that used to be restricted to them through political activities like squatting and demonstration on the streets to gain visibility from the public on issues that really affect them. It is interesting how she looks at undocumented immigrants and immigrant housewives participation in the public sphere as being part of this informal political system where they function as political actors. By being active in their community they are letting their voices be heard and at the same time look out for their interests and of their families, without necessarily worrying about their citizenship status or role in their family.

    Christopher Bentley’s article, “Can the Centers Hold?” is a great example of governments investing in their cities for consumer attractiveness. Cleveland saw three sport stadiums develop in downtown and Columbus invested in meeting the demand for urban apartments, to lure in more young professionals to the area, just like Harvey argued in his article. These instances demonstrate how urban development looks to satisfy the needs of the few at the cost of others (disadvantaged populations), similar to Sassen’s argument. In many instances urban planning can go wrong and the target consumers may not come and money that was invested is lost, but most importantly communities, identities and networks are being destroyed especially for the impoverished. However, for those who manage to stay, Sassen would argue they can use the informal political system to become noticed and included in matters pertaining to their communities and future development.

  19. scamp3
    12:42 pm - 9-26-2012

    The first article I read “Flexible Accumulation Through Urbanization” by David Harvey, explained how urbanization has “dramatically changed its spots in the United States since 1972” (254). Harvey claims that urbanization is key when discussing the issues of capitalism. Cities continued growth has proven to give more opportunities to more people. Lower class people are receiving better chances of success through new modernized developments. Entrepreneurial opportunities have been given, “…inter-urban competition has opened spaces within which new and more flexible labour processes could be more easily implanted and has opened the way to much more flexible currents of geographical mobility than was the case before..”(256). Harvey also discusses the down sides to urbanization. One point he makes is how there are only so many businesses that will be successful in starting, and then once started, staying popular within a vastly changing culture.
    The next article I read was “Going beyond the National State in the USA: The Politics of Minoritized Groups in Global Cities” by Saskia Sassen. This article also discussed the major impacts of urbanization on the US. Although, Sassen mainly focuses on two points, the first being that the US has, throughout history, made many changes to incorporate “new rights” for citizens. Her second point is that “informal practices and political subjects not quite fully recognized as such can nonetheless function as part of the political landscape” (61). Her main point is that those who are in less fortune have a better chance at succeeding through the, “complex space of cities” (64).
    The third article I read, “The Brixton: It’s new, happening, and another example of African-American historical ‘swagger-jacking’” by Stephen A. Crockett Jr. discusses Crocketts view on the ever changing city of Washington DC. On the one hand, he knows that the businesses that represent the black culture of that city are prospering, and that it is not necessarily a bad thing for people to be doing so well. On another he wonders why it did not prosper when the people who actually lived by the culture being portrayed are not the ones prospering from this success, “Does it matter that the owners aren’t black? Maybe. Does it matter that these places slid in around the time that black folks slide out? Maybe” (1). Crocketts article is another view of urbanization. This article connects to Harvey’s point on how urbanization can give people more opportunities to flourish, and at the same time shows how it can take other peoples opportunity, such as the black community Crockett discusses, away.

  20. hakunanahtata
    12:44 pm - 9-26-2012

    In Sassen’s Going beyond the National State in the USA: The Politics of Minoritized Groups in Global Cities she describes the changing relationship between the individual and the state. Specifically the individual, who is an informal actor. For minorities the concept of citizenship is still evolving and fluid when it needs to be substantive. She concludes that these minorities who lack power can gain influence by working with each other, fighting for their rights with protests. In David Harvey’s Flexible Accumulation through Urbanization he tracks the growth of urbanization and its relationship with capitalism since the 1970’s. Flexible accumulation along with capitalism has promoted new cultural attitudes based on the commodities offered. This cultural fluidity as a result changes the landscape of urbanization. The results of the changing job markets because of capitalism changes the cultural landscape in urban areas that is a result of flexible accumulation. The fluidity of change based on competition can be seen throughout the USA. Connecting Harvey’s essay with Bentley’s article about Ohio cities flexible accumulation is apparent. The cities have faced booms and busts in job markets in relation to the spread of capitalism which correlate to the spacial landscape of populations. In three Ohio towns lawmakers are revitalizing areas that have been empty for decades. The distributions of populations in Ohio are transformed by the job markets and available businesses which have dwindled in the past. By reconstructing the facade of these cities demonstrates flexible accumulation and how it affects the entire landscape and economy. Connecting Crockett’s article to Harvey’s you can see how flexible accumulation has reconstructed the urban area of DC. The markets in DC have caused large numbers of African American populations to move out while there is an increase of Caucasians moving in. The culture in DC has been black throughout the years, as Crockett calls it Browntown and has a deep cultural heritage. Crockett is upset with the new hot spots named after black culture icons that are not culturally correct because they have white owners and patrons. The places are popular because the culture is popular and the area that they are located in. The community has changed via flexible accumulation and Crockett is not pleased.

  21. ksalvucc
    12:54 pm - 9-26-2012

    A key idea that I take from the Harvey reading is that in order to understand the “historical geography of capitalism” one must understand how urbanization fits into it. He claims that new systems of flexible accumulation in which more and more things become commodities has occurred to some extent because of the shift in the urban process in the post-modern world. In other words, aspects of flexible accumulation such as the use of innovative industrial technologies such as conventions centers and sports stadia, transitions in class content and the nature of spatial processes, adaptable variable organizational structures, and flexible consumption patterns occurred in part because of increased inter-urban competition. This urbanization also reshaped physical and social spaces. Harvey says that we should look at the move in the urban process as a key point of integration of the political-economic move towards a flexible accumulation and a type of cultural aesthetic trend in the direction of post-modernism.
    A key idea that I got from the Sassen article titled “When the City Itself Becomes a Technology of War” is that the “unsettling of the urban order and its differences with the order of national states” (Sassen 59-65) is one aspect limiting “superior military power” when war moves to cities. The Mumbai attack and Israel-Gaza interactions are two examples given to demonstrate the unevenness of war once it’s urbanized and how it results in a variety of types of asymmetric wars.
    One of the idea that was stated in the Harvey article about changes in culture due to urbanization can clearly be seen in the Crockett article. Crockett’s raised the issue that although restaurants names have not changed in a part of the city that was recently know as Chocolate City there is a big change in the cultural experience in what used to be a predominantly African-American part of D.C. He points out that is due to the need for African-Americans to move out of the city mainly because of their economic situation when rents were rising in the city. Crocket talks about how these restaurants are “cultural vultures” in that they have re-invented these restaurants based on the culture of the era of African-American majority in D.C. The author feels nostalgic about how the essence of these restaurants have changed and that the restaurants are missing what he remembers about them that made them so unique. Crockett wants the restaurant to be like he remembers it. The author clearly does not like this change whatsoever.

    • shill10
      4:20 pm - 9-30-2012

      After reading the Harvey article I thought to myself what the heck is flexible accumulation? lol Your definition helped a lot. I appreciate your examples. I also liked your description and examples of how wars are uneven when cities are involved.

  22. grivas3
    12:56 pm - 9-26-2012

    For this week reading, all the articles had different approaches on the growth of urban areas and the different things that trigger urbanization. In the David Harvey article “flexible accumulation through Urbanization”, his key idea is that it’s important to be open to new ideas, global, and diverse views in order to keep the cities economic state or to built new economy. This way we decrease from traditional thinking and stop only private individuals or cooperations obtaining wealth. Harvey makes his statement very clear that to understand urbanization we must understand the historical geography of capitalism. Overall in my opinion the article was hard to understand and concluded a final idea.
    In Saskia Sassen article “Going Beyond the National State in the USA: The Politics of Minoritized Groups in Global Cities”, she explains how global cities now allow groups that are “disadvantage”, “outsiders”, and “discriminated minorities” with the opportunity to have a voice and presence in their communities. Cities such as New york, Los Angeles, Miami, Boston, and San Francisco are the setting for new types of politics and political actors. These cities stage political activities such as rallies, protest, and other types of demonstrations against many violations. For example a legal resident who does not have the right to vote can now be heard through this demonstrations. These minorities in conclusion are heard and have a voice using these global cities as their setting. I can connect Saskia Sassen article with Crockett’s “The Brixton: It’s new, happening and another example of African-American historical ‘swagger-jacking”. Crockett explains how before a the African community was once treated unfairly because of slavery in Washington DC and the rest of the country. Like Sassen explains global cities are allowing minority groups to have a presence in the city and in this case the black community has shift from being treated unfairly to wanting to preserve black culture in this town. Crockett does not find this artificial preservation of black culture something positive because it does not seem real to him and he argues why the black community had to leave in other for new changes to take place. We can also relate Crockett article to Harvey’s because Washington D.C is a global city that attracts people from all over the world with new ideas and different ways of thinking and overall with new people coming in it’s difficult to preserve a real cultural identity in the cities that are changing over time.

    • albuquerque
      4:34 am - 9-28-2012

      I could not agree with you more that the Harvey article was rather difficult to understand and apply. I also really like your point about DC being a changing and very diverse city therefore making it hard for any one culture to be truly preserved. DC has so much more history in it than just african american, though that is a major part, they still could have chosen any other of the many cultures in the city to recognize. And like you said its a fast changing city, it could shift away from african american culture at any point, especially if it continues to get such negative attention!

    • shanaz
      12:16 pm - 9-28-2012

      I liked your last comment about big cities changing over time. At first, I believed that it was negative for Washington DC to lose its black culture, however, this cannot always mean that its shifting towards a negative culture. Any other other culture could make DC as beautiful.

      • hakunanahtata
        12:54 pm - 10-3-2012

        Any culture can make DC a beautiful city but the point of the matter is today DC has the largest population of African Americans than any other area of the USA, 60%. Can you imagine the percentage of population in the 80s when it was larger? And the fact that they have taxation without representation. I think that it is great that DC is being revitalized and understand that over time economics and movements of resources effects the distribution of people in an area but don’t agree that it is a good thing all around. Being white and from an affluent family outside of DC it is hard to relate to the realities of marginalized peoples. So I think its awesome that the city is moving in the right direction but not at the expense of the people who inhabit it getting pushed out.

    • jhanse10
      3:17 pm - 9-28-2012

      I too agree that the reading was quite difficult to understand. However, you analysis and summary of Sassen brings out all the important parts of the article! Great Job! I find you last sentence interesting and I completely agree. It makes me question if realistically can we stop globalization and seek to preserve national cultures?

  23. msaddat
    1:49 pm - 9-26-2012

    We begin to look at the first article “Flexible Accumulation Through Urbanization: Reflections on ‘Post-Modernism’ in the American City,” by David Harvey where he discusses the importance of understanding how urbanization has affected capitalism. The topic of post-modernism is described to be a time where there is a break between the focus on such a large-scale international ideology, to more of an emphasis on vernacular traditions and local history. It states that there is a “cultural logic” in late capitalism that suggests that cities should take a creative and active role in promoting new cultural attitudes. In the 1970’s the economy hit a global deflation, which caused urban dispersal into the suburbs and rural small towns. With capital facing devaluation, the new thought of entrepreneurialism emerged. This increased inter-urban competition which later created flexible labor processes and government forced innovation and intervention. Cities went back to the drawing board and tried to revamp old cities, to attract consumers.

    In the article “Going Beyond the National State in the USA,” by Saskia Sassen, the authors begins to discuss how in most areas people that are foreign to a place, don’t have much say in what goes on whether it is the government or even in the community. With the boom of urbanization, this idea can start to disappear. The variety that is introduced in cities, allows everyone to have a place, and individuals to take in active part in their community. She also brings up the idea that we have previously seen about the world growing smaller. With the push to continue growing in the cities, people must keep in mind that not only are the urban areas attracting business people, but also a mass move of immigrants. Living so close to the nation’s capital we can see these different theories in effect, and we can also see this in the city of New York. Not only do we have the big financial buffs on Wall St., but you also see the various parts of the city occupied by different peoples; there are areas such as Little Italy, China Town, different ethnic groups in the Bronx, etc.

    We can see the link between Sassen’s article and that of Steven A Crockett Jr. “The Brixton: It’s new, happening and another example of African-American ‘swagger-jacking.’” He discusses a part of Washington, DC, specifically U St. With a high percentage of African-Americans residing in the area, the city has tried to implement a theme with different restaurants, bars, and lounges that would attract the same group. Although such efforts may seem to be a good idea, the capitalistic view must be careful in creating such mocking establishments. This means that big buffs are trying to go in and create something based on a culture they are not familiar with, and could possibly not even be within residential reach (affordability). That is where we find the gap and end up dealing with internal displacement.

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