Urban Inequalities and Egalitarian Scenes: Relationality in Urban Place-Making and Community-Building and Paradox of Egalitarianism

  • Marta KlekotkoEmail author


The paper aims to analyse egalitarian scenes and relational dimension of urban place-making and identity-building processes. By providing an empirical example from Neukölln neighbourhood in Berlin, the paper discusses strategies and processes of creation and reproduction of egalitarian scenes and the role of social and ethnic inequalities, which these processes implicitly assume. The paper points to a paradox of egalitarian scene which although aims to open access to urban space and advocate fighting inequalities, it implies their existence due to relational character of cultural identity of its actors and the place itself. Moreover, the paper describes communal practices of defending egalitarian character of scene and fighting against the invasion of privileged social groups. As such, the paper provides a reflection on relational nature of egalitarian scenes and its consequences.


  1. Amit, V. (2002). Realizing Community: Concepts, Social Relationships, and Sentiments. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arthurson, K. (2012). Social Mix and the City: Challenging the Mixed Communities Consensus in Housing and Urban Planning Policies. Collingwood: CIRSO.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Augé, M. (1995). Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Super-Modernity. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Bailey, N., Haworth, A., Manzi, T., Paranagamage, P., & Roberts, M. (2006). Creating and Sustaining Mixed Income Communities. Coventry, UK: Chartered Institute of Housing and Joseph Rowntree Foundation.Google Scholar
  5. Barr, A., & Hashagen, S. (2000). Achieving Better Community Development. London: Community Development Foundation.Google Scholar
  6. Basset, K. (1993). Urban Cultural Strategies and Urban Cultural Regeneration: A Case Study and Critique. Environment and Planning, 25(12), 1773–1788. Google Scholar
  7. Bauman, Z. (1996). Tourists and Vagabonds: Heroes and Victims of Postmodernity. Political Science Series No. 30. Retrieved from:
  8. Baym, N. K. (2000). Tune In, Log On: Soaps, Fandom, and Online Community. Thousand Oaks, London, and New Delhi: Sage.Google Scholar
  9. Beck, U., & Beck-Gernsheim, E. (2002). Individualization: Institutionalized Individualism and Its Social and Political Consequences. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  10. Bellah, R., Madsen, R., Sullivan, W., Swidler, A., & Tipton, S. (2007). Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life. The Journal of American History, 73.Google Scholar
  11. Borer, M. I. (2006). The Location of Culture: The Urban Culturalist Perspective. City and Community, 5(2), 173–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Buechler, S. M. (2000). Social Movements in Advanced Capitalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Bush, R., Dower, J., & Much, A. (2002). Community Capacity Index. Brisbane, QLD: The University of Queensland.Google Scholar
  14. Castells, M. (1997). The Information Age, Vol. 2: The Power of Identity. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  15. Castells, M. (​2001). The Internet Galaxy: Reflections on the Internet, Business and Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Chaskin, R. J., Brown, P., Venkatesh, S., & Vidal, A. (2001). Building Community Capacity. New York: Aldine Transaction.Google Scholar
  17. Clark, T. N. (2003). The City as an Entertainment Machine. Oxford: Elsevier.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Cohen, A. (1985). The Symbolic Construction of Community. London: Tavistock.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Davidson, M. (2012). The Impossibility of Gentrification and Social Mixing. In G. Bridge, T. Butler, & L. Lees (Eds.), Mixed Communities: Gentrification by Stealth? (pp. 233–250). Bristol: Policy Press.Google Scholar
  20. Delanty, G. (2003). Community. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  21. Dominelli, L. (Ed.). (2007). Revitalising Communities in a Globalizing World. Aldershot, Hampshire: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  22. Elliott, R., & Wattanasuwan, K. (1998). Consumption and the Symbolic Project of the Self. In B. G. Englis & A. Olofsson (Eds.), European Advances in Consumer Research (Vol. 3, pp. 17–20). Provo, UT: Association for Consumer Research.Google Scholar
  23. Fleming, R. L. (2007). The Art of Placemaking: Interpreting Community Through Public Art and Urban Design. London: Merrell Publishers.Google Scholar
  24. Florida, R. (2002). The Rise of the Creative Class. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  25. Fraser, J., DeFillippis, J., & Bazuin, J. (2012). HOPE VI: Calling for Modesty in Its Claims. In G. Bridge, T. Butler, & L. Lees (Eds.), Mixed Communities: Gentrification by Stealth? (pp. 209–229). Bristol: Policy Press.Google Scholar
  26. Galster, G. (2012). The Mechanism(s) of Neighbourhood Effects: Theory, Evidence, and Policy Implications. In M. van Ham, D. Manley, N. Bailey, L. Simpson, & D. Maclennan (Eds.), Neighbourhood Effects Research: New Perspectives (pp. 23–56). Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Galster, G. C., & Friedrichs, J. (2015). The Dialectic of Neighborhood Social Mix: Editors’ Introduction to the Special Issue. Housing Studies. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Giddens, A. (1991). Modernity and Self-identity: Self and Society in the Late Modern Age. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Gieryn, T. (2000). A Space for Place in Sociology. Annual Review of Sociology, 26, 463–496.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Glaeser, E., Kolko, J., & Saiz, A. (2001). Consumer City. Journal of Economic Geography, 1(1), 27–50.Google Scholar
  31. Grant, J., & Perrott, K. (2009). Producing Diversity in a New Urbanism Community. Town Planning Review, 80(3), 267–289.Google Scholar
  32. Holmes, D. (Ed.). (1997). Virtual Politics: Identity and Community in Cyberspace. London, Thousand Oaks, and New Delhi: Sage.Google Scholar
  33. Judd, D. R., & Fainstein, S. S. (Eds.). (1999). The Tourist City. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Kellner, D. (1992). Popular Culture and the Construction of Postmodern Identities. In L. Friedman (Ed.), Modernity and Identity. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  35. Klekotko, M. (2012). Rozwój po śląsku: procesy kapitalizacji kultury w społeczności górniczej. Kraków: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego.Google Scholar
  36. Klekotko, M. (2018a). Praktyki wspólnotowe w ponowoczesnym mieście: w poszukiwaniu nowej perspektywy. Miscellanea Anthropologica et Sociologica, 19(1), 209–229.Google Scholar
  37. Klekotko, M. (2018b). Między lokalnością a wspólnotowością, czyli o wspólnototwórczych właściwościach scen miejskich. Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Sociologica nr 64/2018.
  38. Klekotko, M., & Gorlach, K. (2011). Miejsce, lokalność, globalizacja. Przyczynek do problematyki socjologii wsi (i nie tylko) w społeczeństwie ponowoczesnym. In H. Podedworna & A. Pilichowski (Eds.), Obszary wiejskie w Polsce. Różnorodność i procesy różnicowania (pp. 22–55). Warszawa: IFiS PAN – Polskie Towarzystwo Socjologiczne.Google Scholar
  39. Klekotko, M., & Navarro, C. J. (2015). Wymiary kulturowe polskich miast i miasteczek. Kraków: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego.Google Scholar
  40. Klekotko, M., Navarro, C. J., Silver, D., & Clark, T. N. (2015). Wymiary i charakter kulturowy miasta. In M. Klekotko & C. J. Navarro (Eds.), Wymiary kulturowe polskich miast i miasteczek. Kraków: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego.Google Scholar
  41. Kluckmann, M. (2016). Practicing Community: Outline of a Praxeological Approach to the Feeling of We-ness. Cultural Analysis, 15(1), 28–56.Google Scholar
  42. Kretzmann, J. P., & McKnight, J. L. (1996). Mapping Community Capacity. Evanston: Northwestern University.Google Scholar
  43. Landry, C. (2002). The Creative City: A Toolkit for Urban Innovators. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  44. Landry, C. (2006). The Art of City Making. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  45. Lash, S. (1994). Reflexivity and Its Doubles: Structures, Aesthetics, Community. In U. Beck, A. Giddens, & S. Lash (Eds.), Reflexive Modernization: Politics, Tradition and Aesthetics in the Modern Social Order (pp. 110–173). Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  46. Levy, D., McDade, Z., & Bertumen, K. (2013). Mixed-Income Living: Anticipated and Realized Benefits for Low-Income Households. Cityscape, 15(2), 15–28.Google Scholar
  47. Lloyd, R. (2007). Neo-Bohemia: Art and Commerce in the Postindustrial City. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  48. Maffesoli, M. (1996). The Time of the Tribes: The Decline of Individualization in Mass Society. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  49. Markusen, A. (2006). Urban Development and the Politics of Creative Class: Evidence from the Study of Artists. Environment and Planning, 38(10), 1921–1940.Google Scholar
  50. Markusen, A., & Gadwa, A. (2010). Creative Placemaking. Washington, DC: National Endowments of the Arts.Google Scholar
  51. Melucci, A. (1989). Nomads of the Present: Social Movements and Individual Needs in Contemporary Society. London: Hutchinson Radius.Google Scholar
  52. Miles, S. (1996, June). The Cultural Capital of Consumption: Understanding ‘Postmodern’ Identities in a Cultural Context. Culture & Psychology, 2(2), 139–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Nawratek, K. (2011). City as a Political Idea: Citizenship, Sovereignty and Politics. Plymouth: University of Plymouth Press.Google Scholar
  54. Nawratek, K. (2012). Holes in the Whole. Washington, DC: Zero Books.Google Scholar
  55. Paton, K. (2012). Not the Only Power in Town? Challenging Binaries and Bringing Working Class into Gentrification Research. In G. Bridge, T. Butler, & L. Lees (Eds.), Mixed Communities: Gentrification by Stealth? (pp. 251–271). Bristol, UK: Policy Press.Google Scholar
  56. Rheingold, H. (1993). The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier. Boston: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  57. Ruano, M. (1998). Eco-Urbanism: Sustainable Human Settlements, 60 Case Studies. New York: Watson-Guptill Publications. Google Scholar
  58. Schneekloth, L. H., & Shibley, R. G. (1995). Placemaking: The Art and Practice of Building Communities. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  59. Sharifi, A. (2016). From Garden City to Eco-Urbanism: The Quest for Sustainable Neighborhood Development. Sustainable Cities and Society, 20, 1–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Shields, R. (1992). Lifestyle Shopping: The Subject of Consumption. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  61. Silver, D. A., & Clark, T. N. (2016). Scenescapes: How Qualities of Place Shape Social Life. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Silver, D. A., Clark T. N., & Graziul, C. (2011). Scenes, Innovation and Urban Development. In D. E. Anderson, A. E. Anderson, & C. Mellander (Eds.), Handbook of Creative Cities (pp. 229–258). Cheltenham and Northampton: Edward Elgar Publishing.Google Scholar
  63. Wellman, B. (1979). The Community Question: The Intimate Networks of East Yorkers. American Journal of Sociology, 84(5), 1201–1231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Wellman, B. (2001). The Rise of Networked Individualism. In L. Keeble & B. Loader (Eds.), Community Informatics (pp. 17–42). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  65. Znaniecki, F. (1936). Social Actions. New York: Farrar & Rinehart.Google Scholar
  66. Zukin, S. (1995). The Culture of Cities. London: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  67. Zukin, S. (1998). Urban Lifestyles: Diversity and Standardisation in Spaces of Consumption. Urban Studies, 35(5–6), 825–839.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jagiellonian UniversityKrakówPoland

Personalised recommendations