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Tuff City



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"Recognising Naples' uniqueness, Dines supplies theoretical and analytical tools for understanding urban regeneration..., thus fostering the kind of case study-focused ethnographic research that meets the urgent need to think across different urban experiences. Each case study presented in the book invites reflection upon the implications of political discourses about public space, as well as upon the rhetoric of participation and inclusiveness. Collectively, the case studies show the importance of considering different social groups' divergent ideas and uses of space when studying spatial conflict. Complexity thus becomes an element to be valued and acknowledged in the urban project-in Naples and in contemporary cities elsewhere." · Society and Space "This is a perceptive book and worthwhile read for the true urbanist. It effectively demonstrates, and even showcases, the value of ethnography as a methodology, and any reader would be appreciative of the pointed detail of the archival research. The lessons it offers from Naples on the politics of public space will be of value to anyone studying the contemporary city." · The AAG Review of Books "Nick Dines' painstaking study is a fitting and welcome contribution. Drawing on meticulous and extensive fieldwork conducted during the period of urban renewal dubbed the 'Neapolitan Renaissance', the book provides an extremely innovative perspective on Naples compared to the mainstream literature...From the outset, the study acts as a powerful tool of deconstruction of the discourses that have framed the city in the contemporary era. Atavistic backwardness, violent plebeianism, irresolvable passivity, unstoppable passion and an irreparable lack of civicness have been accorded varying levels of significance over the course of time but nonetheless remain a permanent feature of all narratives about Naples." · Il Manifesto "This is an important book. In a whole series of ways this study of contemporary Naples will set a bench-mark for urban studies and the way urban history is carried out. It is a book about Naples and thus about the particularities and peculiarities of that specific city. However, this is also a book which goes way beyond Naples itself. It has a lot to tell us about the way the city can and should be studied - about urban studies methodologies - and in this area it is highly original and in some ways sets a new agenda for other researchers, historians, anthropologists, ethnologists, and those using cultural studies approaches." · John Foot, University College London "...[A]n interesting and readable text. It is scholarly, ambitious in scope and well written." · Victoria Goddard, Goldsmiths, University of London During the 1990s, Naples' left-wing administration sought to tackle the city's infamous reputation of being poor, crime-ridden, chaotic and dirty by reclaiming the city's cultural and architectural heritage. This book examines the conflicts surrounding the reimaging and reordering of the city's historic centre through detailed case studies of two piazzas and a centro sociale, focusing on a series of issues that include heritage, decorum, security, pedestrianization, tourism, immigration and new forms of urban protest. This monograph is the first in-depth study of the complex transformations of one of Europe's most fascinating and misunderstood cities. It represents a new critical approach to the questions of public space, citizenship and urban regeneration as well as a broader methodological critique of how we write about contemporary cities. Nick Dines lived and worked in Naples for seven years. He is research fellow in Sociology at Middlesex University, London.






"Recognising Naples' uniqueness, Dines supplies theoretical and analytical tools for understanding urban regeneration..., thus fostering the kind of case study-focused ethnographic research that meets the urgent need to think across different urban experiences. Each case study presented in the book invites reflection upon the implications of political discourses about public space, as well as upon the rhetoric of participation and inclusiveness. Collectively, the case studies show the importance of considering different social groups' divergent ideas and uses of space when studying spatial conflict. Complexity thus becomes an element to be valued and acknowledged in the urban project-in Naples and in contemporary cities elsewhere." · Society and Space "This is a perceptive book and worthwhile read for the true urbanist. It effectively demonstrates, and even showcases, the value of ethnography as a methodology, and any reader would be appreciative of the pointed detail of the archival research. The lessons it offers from Naples on the politics of public space will be of value to anyone studying the contemporary city." · The AAG Review of Books "Nick Dines' painstaking study is a fitting and welcome contribution. Drawing on meticulous and extensive fieldwork conducted during the period of urban renewal dubbed the 'Neapolitan Renaissance', the book provides an extremely innovative perspective on Naples compared to the mainstream literature...From the outset, the study acts as a powerful tool of deconstruction of the discourses that have framed the city in the contemporary era. Atavistic backwardness, violent plebeianism, irresolvable passivity, unstoppable passion and an irreparable lack of civicness have been accorded varying levels of significance over the course of time but nonetheless remain a permanent feature of all narratives about Naples." · Il Manifesto "This is an important book. In a whole series of ways this study of contemporary Naples will set a bench-mark for urban studies and the way urban history is carried out. It is a book about Naples and thus about the particularities and peculiarities of that specific city. However, this is also a book which goes way beyond Naples itself. It has a lot to tell us about the way the city can and should be studied - about urban studies methodologies - and in this area it is highly original and in some ways sets a new agenda for other researchers, historians, anthropologists, ethnologists, and those using cultural studies approaches." · John Foot, University College London "...[A]n interesting and readable text. It is scholarly, ambitious in scope and well written." · Victoria Goddard, Goldsmiths, University of London During the 1990s, Naples' left-wing administration sought to tackle the city's infamous reputation of being poor, crime-ridden, chaotic and dirty by reclaiming the city's cultural and architectural heritage. This book examines the conflicts surrounding the reimaging and reordering of the city's historic centre through detailed case studies of two piazzas and a centro sociale, focusing on a series of issues that include heritage, decorum, security, pedestrianization, tourism, immigration and new forms of urban protest. This monograph is the first in-depth study of the complex transformations of one of Europe's most fascinating and misunderstood cities. It represents a new critical approach to the questions of public space, citizenship and urban regeneration as well as a broader methodological critique of how we write about contemporary cities. Nick Dines lived and worked in Naples for seven years. He is research fellow in Sociology at Middlesex University, London.


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