Lumpencity: Discourses of Marginality | Marginalizing Discourses

Lumpencity: Discourses of Marginality | Marginalizing Discourses

While it has been fashionable to think that academic research benefits marginalized groups, representational and methodological choices have often served to produce and legitimize marginalizing practices. The contributions to Lumpencity reveal how authors have sought to engage with and transform their scholarly repertoires into tools of analysis useful for political action. We hope to encourage scholars, activists, and activist-scholars to reflect upon the complementarity of their academic and activist praxis, and to remain committed to unsettling both disciplinary norms and institutional boundaries.

Book Details

Edited by: Alan Bourke, Tia Dafnos & Markus Kip
ISBN: 9781926958163
Year: 2012
Pages: 332
Price: $39.50 USD

Table of Contents

1. Lumpen-City: Discourses of Marginality| Marginalizing Discourses
Alan Bourke, Tia Dafnos, and Markus Kip

Part I | Contesting Discourses of Marginality

2. Understanding Obama’s Discourse on Urban Poverty
David Wilson and Matthew Anderson

3. Legitimizing Violence and Segregation: Neoliberal Discourses on Crime and the Criminalization of Urban Poor Populations in Turkey
Zeynep Gönen and Deniz Yonucu

4. Homelessness as Neoliberal Discourse: Reflections on Research and the Narrowing of Poverty Policy
Mark Willson

5. Samuel Delany’s Lumpen Worlds and the Problem of Representing Marginality
Lisa Estreich

Part II | Contested Representations

6. Indigeneity and the City: Representations, Resistance, and the Right to the City
Julie Tomiak

7. Palestinian Refugees and Citizens: Trajectories of Group Solidarity and Politics
Silvia Pasquetti

8. Sexual Violence and the Creation of a Postcolonial Ordinary: Engagements Between Street-Based Sex Workers and the Police in Machala, Ecuador
Karen O’Connor

9. Making Sense of Failure: Why German Trade Unions Did Not Mobilize Against the Hartz-IV Reforms—Partisan Research in Frankfurt, Germany
Markus Kip

Part III | Methodological Reflexivities

10. Participatory Practices: Contesting Accountability in Academic-Community Research Collaborations
Alan Bourke

11. Lost in Translation: The Social Relations of an Institutional Ethnography of Activism
Kate M. Murray

12. Shifting the Gaze “Upwards”: Researching the Police as an Institution of Power
Tia Dafnos

13. Our Streets! Practice and Theory of the Ottawa Panhandlers’ Union
Matthew R. McLennan

14. Afterword: A Call to Activist Scholarship


“…poses an unshirkable challenge to contemporary research on urban marginality…and moves us towards a reflexive form of activist-scholarship connecting marginal space to radical practice that is accountable to both an academic and activist audience.

Margit Mayer, Professor of Political Science, Freie University Berlin and author of “Social Movements in the (Post) Neoliberal City” (Wiley, 2010)


“Interdisciplinary, theoretically eclectic, and international in scope, it is an excellent guide for urban scholars and activists concerned with forging alternatives to rapidly deepening urban injustices.”

Colin McFarlane, Lecturer, Dept. of Geography, University of Durham and author of “Learning the City: Knowledge and Translocal Assemblage” (Wiley, 2011)

Related Projects