Collective Consumption and Urban Contradictions in Advanced Capitalism

  • Manuel Castells
Chapter

Abstract

Social inequality is the most obvious expression of any class society in so far as the place occupied in the system of production determines the distribution of the product among social groups, for, from the moment that we deny the inherent connection between the system of social stratification (related to the economic and symbolic distribution of the product) and the system of social classes (based on the system of production and, hence, on the power relationships between the classes), and make the former depend on the latter, it becomes necessary to spell out the specific form of this social inequality according to the phases of a mode of production and the historical formation of a social system. Thus the history of eternal disparity between the ‘rich’ and the ‘poor’, based on a fatalism with perfect results for the dominant classes, gives way to the precise analysis of the social production of differentiation at the level of consumption and to the study of the basic logic of a certain type of social relations which are experienced in the form of oppressive daily life.

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Notes and References

  1. 2.
    On the relation between urban organisation and life style, see M. Brook-lin, The Limits of the City (New York: Harper & Row, 1973).Google Scholar
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    See the very concrete analysis concerning the social determination of the Parisian metro routes in A. Cottereau, ‘Les origines de la planification urbaine dans la région parisienne’, Sociologie du travail, no. 4 (1969).Google Scholar
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    See the detailed analysis of the logic employed at the R.E.R. in J. Lojkine, La politique urbaine dans la région parisienne (Paris: Mouton, 1973).Google Scholar
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    See a good summary of some important research in this field in J. F. Kain, ‘Urban Travel Behavior’, in Social Science and the City ed. Leo F. Schnore, (New York: Praeger, 1968) pp. 162–96flGoogle Scholar
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    See specific analyser and observations of this sort in Urbanisme monopoliste, urbanisme democratique cited above. This problem is approached from a different perspective by J. Rémy and L. Voyé in La ville et l’urbanisation (Brussels: Editions Duculot, 1974) especially in the first part.Google Scholar
  58. 51.
    See the analyses of social movements in Espaces et sociétés nos 6, 7, 9 (1972 and 1973)Google Scholar
  59. as well as the following: C. Pickvance, ‘On the Study of Urban Social Movements’, in Urban Sociology: critical essays, ed. Pickvance (London: Methuen, 1975).Google Scholar
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© Manuel Castells 1978

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  • Manuel Castells

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