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Crime and the City Solution: Crime Fiction, Urban Knowledge, and Radical Geography

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Radical urban geography has recently begun a critique of crime fiction, seeing its ideological shortcomings as politically instructive. This paper argues that this critique is theoretically naive and suggests that a concentration on the epistemological claims of both fiction and urban geography is more fruitful. The paper turns the critique back on radical geography and celebrates the critical possibilities of some forms of crime fiction. Specifically, the police procedurals of British author John Harvey are used to illustrate the genre's ability to articulate alternative epistemologies, ways of knowing the city that track the structure of everyday life and thus offer a critical, realistic, and reflexive approach to the city and itsproblems.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England

Publication date: October 1, 1998


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