In the routine spectrum of our lives, we inhabit the public sphere. Whether in the street, the shopping center, or on the bus, we engage with the empowered, the disempowered, the omitted, and the powerful. Within the public sphere, the notion of public involves a complexity of approaches to aspects of everyday practices of power, performance, and place. Through these approaches, that which is public can be visualized, experienced, and contested in the construction, ceremony, and design of buildings, institutions, and daily activities. In a variety of ways, the conceptualization and contextualization of the public contributes to identity formations, narratives of community, and manifestations of the political that materially and discursively transpire within the public sphere in the perceptions of inequality, metaphors for knowledge, and critiques of consciousness. For this volume focused on interpretive methods and methodologies that address the concept of public, we present a lively engagement with methodological insight into the political digestion of the public sphere. We delve into models of and approaches to conducting research, the analysis of findings, and the reaffirmation of enhanced techniques of related inquiry in public spaces. We seek to explore the following questions: What is the public? How do we visualize/understand/experience the public? What are the ways in which these insights connect to articulations of citizenship and democracy? How is the public implicated in the political? The chapters originally published as a special issue in Space and Polity.
Table of Contents
1. Digesting the public sphere Sarah Marusek 2. From encountering confederate flags to finding refuge in spaces of solidarity: Filipino temporary foreign workers’ experiences of the public in Alberta Ethel Tungohan 3. Overlapping publics and the negotiation of legitimacy in South African and Namibian sexual politics Julie Moreau and Ashley Currier 4. Gendered discipline, gendered space: an ethnographic approach to gendered violence in India Natasha Behl 5. Public spheres on the move: the embodied deliberation of cycling in Los Angeles Pernilla Johansson and Stacey Liou 6. Reflexivity, participatory art, and the failures of monist representation Kathleen Tipler and Christina Chang 7. Deconstructing naturalization ceremonies as public spectacles of citizenship Robin A. Harper 8. The aloha paradox: law, language, and culture in Hawai ‘ i Sarah Marusek
Sarah Marusek is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Hawai‘i Hilo, USA. Her research and teaching interests in jurisprudence include legal geography, legal semiotics, and constitutive legal theory.