Collective Consumption and Urban Contradictions in Advanced Capitalism

  • Manuel Castells


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
  2. 4.
    For these analyses I refer to P. Boccara, Etudes sur la capitalisme monopoliste d’Etat: sa crise et son issue (Paris: Editions Sociales, 1973);Google Scholar
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    For an analysis of this problem, see A. Granou, Capitalisme et mode de vie (Paris: Le Cerf, 1973), and for statistical sources which enable an appreciation of this transformation, the studies of CREDOC (Public Research Centre on Consumption Problems) on the consumption patterns of the French.Google Scholar
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  38. 31.
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  39. 32.
    I refer for an analysis of the social bases of the transformation of housing policy in France to a text which caught this transformation at its beginnings: J. Bobroff and F. Novatin, ‘La politique Chalandon: nécessité tactique et stratégie de classe’, Espaces et sociétés, no. 2 (1971).Google Scholar
  40. 33.
    See the classic work of R. M. Fisher, Twenty rears of Public Housing New York: Harper, (1959)Google Scholar
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  42. 37.
    See in this regard the fairly new viewpoint of the development of the suburbs which appears in the collection of C. M. Haar (ed.) The End of Innocence: A Suburban Reader (New York: Scott, Foreman, 1972)Google Scholar
  43. taking up again in a forward-looking manner the themes that were introduced ten years before by R. Vernon in The Myth and Reality of Our Urban Problems (M.I.T. Press, 1962).Google Scholar
  44. 38.
    See F. Ferrarotti, Roma, da capitale a periferia (Bari: Laterza, 1971);Google Scholar
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  46. 39.
    See Jean-Noél Chapouteau, Jean Frébault, Jacques Pellegrin, Le marché des transports (Paris: Seuil, 1970).Google Scholar
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    See the documents assembled on this problem by the Italian trade unions: Una Nuova politica per: transporti. Atli della Conferenza nationale (Rome: Edizioni Sensi, 1972).Google Scholar
  50. 42.
    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
  51. 43.
    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
  52. 44.
    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
  53. 45.
    See the statistics presented by R. Revelle, ‘Pollution and Cities’, in The Metropolitan Enigma, ed J. Q. Wilson (Harvard University Press, 1968) pp. 96–144.Google Scholar
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    See specific analyses and observations of this kind assembled by M. Bosquet in his Critique du capitalisme quotidien (Paris: Editions Galilee, 1973).Google Scholar
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    See M. Segré, ‘Politique scolaire et aménagement du terriroire en France’, Espaces et sociétés, no. 5 (1972) pp. 105–28.Google Scholar
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    See, for example, J. Ion, Les équipements socio-culturels et la ville (Paris: Ministry of Equipment, 1972).Google 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
  60. E. Mingione et al., Citta e conflitto (Milan: Feltrinelli, 1971);Google Scholar
  61. A. Daolia, ‘Le lette per la casa’, in Lo sprees edilzio ed. F. Indovina; M. Marcelloni, ‘Le lotte Sociale in Italia’, unpublished (1973)Google Scholar
  62. G. delba Pergola, ‘Le lotte urbane’, Archivio di stuck urbani et regionali, vol. 3 (1973);Google Scholar
  63. M. Castells, E. Cherki and D. Mehl, Sociologie des mourements sociaux urbains. Enquete sur la région parisienne, 2 vols (Paris: Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales: Centre d’Etude des Mouvements Sociaux, 1974).Google Scholar
  64. I. Borja, Estructura urbana y movimientos urbanos (University of Barcelona, 1974).Google Scholar

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© Manuel Castells 1978

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  • Manuel Castells

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