Disclosing Elite Ecologies
Methodologies For ‘Doing’ Urban Elite Research
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Disclosing elite ecologies: Methodologies for ‘doing’ Urban Elite Research offers a set of methodologies to chart urban elites. Whereas most research has focused on the global super-rich, this book pays specific attention to the multidimensional urban geographies of elite reproduction and transformation, as elites depend on urban contexts for capital accumulation, consumption and leisure, and housing.
Adopting an interdisciplinary approach to the topic, contributing authors discuss various theoretical and methodological antecedents in urban studies and related areas of research that have investigated economic elites. Building on, but also moving beyond these bodies of literature, the book rejects a-priori definitions of the size and shape of this social group and instead pursues relational, place specific conceptualizations of elite composition and behavior. In particular, the contributions to the volume show that urban elite research benefits from paying more attention to: (i) boundary work between elites and non-elites; (ii) intra-elite competition and distinction; (iii) national state spaces in determining elite composition; and (iv) the urban sense of belonging of economic elites.
This extensive volume provides readers with various empirical inroads into the study of urban elites drawing on research set in Brussels, Fez, London, Lyon, Madrid, Manchester, Milan, New York City, Paris, and Porto Alegre. Taking inspiration from urban and economic geography, elite theory and urban sociology, cultural sociology, political economy, anthropology, criminology, architecture, and migration studies, this book aims to open up the opportunity for methodological cross-fertilization.
The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of Urban Geography.
Table of Contents
1. An urban studies approach to elites: nurturing conceptual rigor and methodological pluralism 2. Making and mapping Britain's "new ordinary elite" 3. The challenge of researching "partial exit" and "rootedness" among upper-middle classes in European cities 4. Naked elites: unveiling embodied markers of superiority through co-performance ethnography in gentrified Brooklyn's Park Slope 5. Contingently elite: affective practices of diasporic urban nightlife consumption 6. Investigating urban elites through fear and security in Porto Alegre 7. Reframing labour market mobility in global finance: Chinese elites in London's financial district 8. Follow the money: cultural patronage and urban elite geographies
Bas van Heur is Associate Professor of Urban Studies at the Cosmopolis Centre for Urban Research, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium.
David Bassens is Associate Professor of Economic Geography at the Cosmopolis Centre for Urban Research, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium.