The author would like to thank Mark Davidson, Yuko Aoyama, John Lauermann, Oona Morrow, Rory Horner, Jonathan Kennedy and Chris Moffat for commenting on earlier versions of this article. Four IJURR reviewers also provided valuable comments. The usual disclaimers apply.
Understanding Urban Processes in Flint, Michigan: Approaching ‘Subaltern Urbanism’ Inductively
Article first published online: 30 AUG 2013
© 2013 Urban Research Publications Limited
International Journal of Urban and Regional Research
Volume 38, Issue 3, pages 791–804, May 2014
How to Cite
Schindler, S. (2014), Understanding Urban Processes in Flint, Michigan: Approaching ‘Subaltern Urbanism’ Inductively. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 38: 791–804. doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12082
- Issue published online: 3 APR 2014
- Article first published online: 30 AUG 2013
- subaltern urbanism;
- comparative urbanism;
- Flint (USA);
- 21st-century metropolises;
- global North
Ananya Roy introduces the concept ‘subaltern urbanism’ in her 2011 article ‘Slumdog Cities: Rethinking Subaltern Urbanism’. She challenges researchers to move beyond existing epistemological and methodological limits, and offers four concepts which, taken together, serve as a useful starting point for understanding and representing subaltern urban space. In this article I argue that instead of a deductive approach that begins with an a priori identification of slums as subaltern urban space, an inductive approach of identifying subaltern urban space would expand the concept and show that subaltern urbanism exists in the global North. I present original research to show that Flint, Michigan, can be considered subaltern urban space. In the final section of the article I argue that this inductive approach to subaltern urbanism can foster comparative research across the North-South divide, and generate the transfer of knowledge from South to North.