Urban Neighbourhood Formations: Boundaries, Narrations and Intimacies, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Urban Neighbourhood Formations

Boundaries, Narrations and Intimacies, 1st Edition

Edited by Hilal Alkan, Nazan Maksudyan


312 pages | 17 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367255107
pub: 2020-03-31
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This book examines the formation of urban neighbourhoods in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. It departs from ‘neighbourhoods’ to consider identity, coexistence, solidarity, and violence in relations to a place.


Urban Neighbourhood Formations revolves around three major aspects of making and unmaking of neighbourhoods: spatial and temporal boundaries of neighbourhoods, neighbourhoods as imagined and narrated entities, and neighbourhood as social relations. With extensive case studies from Johannesburg to Istanbul and from Jerusalem to Delhi, this volume shows how spatial amenities, immaterial processes of narrating and dreaming, and the lasting effect of intimacies and violence in a neighbourhood are intertwined and negotiated over time in the construction of moral orders, urban practices, and political identities at large.


This book offers insights into neighbourhood formations in an age of constant mobility and helps us understand the grassroots-level dynamics of xenophobia and hostility, as much as welcoming and openness. It would be of interest for both academics and more general audiences, as well as for students of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Urban Studies and Anthropology.

Table of Contents

Introduction - Hilal Alkan and Nazan Maksudyan 1


I- Borders: Material, Temporal and Conceptual Boundaries of Neighborhoods

1. What Makes a Township a Neighbourhood? The Case of Eldorado Park, Johannesburg - Alex Wafer and Kholofelo Rameetse 20


2. Killing Time in a Roma Neighborhood: Habitus and Precariousness in a Small Town in Western Turkey - Sezai Ozan Zeybek 44

3. Of Basti and Bazaar: Place Making and Women's Lives in Nizamuddin, Delhi - Samprati Pani 64

II- Stories: Neighbourhoods as Imagined and Narrated Entities

4. Two Tales of a Neighbourhood: Eyüp as a Stage for the Ottoman Conquest and Turkish War of Independence - Annegret Roelcke 88


5. Past Neighbourhoods: Palestinians and Jerusalem's ‘enlarged Jewish Quarter’ - Johannes Becker   116


6.  Where is Alexandria? Myths of the City and the Anti-city after Cosmopolitanism - Samuli Schielke 141

7.  Jerusalem's Lost Heart: The Rise and Fall of the Late-Ottoman City Centre - Yair Wallach 165

III- Intimacies: Neighbourhoods as Sources and Objects of Claim-making


8. Violence, Temporality and Sociality in a Kashmiri Neighbourhood - Aatina Nasir Malik 191

9. Syrian Migration and Logics of Alterity in an Istanbul Neighbourhood- Hilal Alkan 214

10. Negotiating Solidarity and Conflict within a Neighbourhood: Gülsuyu-Gülensu and the Scale of Politics - Derya Özkaya 239


11. Urban Tectonics and Lifestyles in Motion: Affective and Spatial Negotiations of Belonging in Tophane, Istanbul - Urszula Ewa Woźniak 264

12. The Basij of Neighbourhood: Techniques of Government and Local Sociality in Bandar Abbas - Ahmad Moradi 288


About the Editors

Hilal Alkan is a research fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin. Her work focuses on charitable giving, migration, gender and social welfare, through the lenses of anthropology, citizenship studies and urban studies. Her publications include ‘The gift of hospitality and (un)welcoming Syrian migrants in Turkey’, American Ethnologist 2019 and ‘The sexual politics of war: Reading the Kurdish conflict through images of women’, Les Cahiers du CEDREF 2018.

Nazan Maksudyan is professor of history at the Freie Universität Berlin and a research associate at the Centre Marc Bloch. Her research focuses on the history of children and youth, with special interest in gender, sexuality, education, humanitarianism, and non-Muslims. Her publications include Women and the City, Women in the City: A Gendered Perspective on Ottoman Urban History, ed. (2014); Ottoman Children & Youth During WWI (2019), ‘Orphans, Cities, and the State: Vocational Orphanages (Islahhanes) and "Reform" in the Late Ottoman Urban Space’, IJMES 43 (2011).

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Urbanism and the City

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geography
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography