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Constructing gender, constructing the urban: a review of Anglo-American feminist urban geography

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This essay explores the changing shape of Anglo-American feminist urban geography, through a discussion of material published in Gender, Place and Culture and elsewhere over the past decade. We contextualize this discussion in relation to the development of feminist urban studies since the 1970s, showing its enduring commitment to work across traditional analytical divides that obfuscate crucial aspects of the mutual constitution of gender and the urban. Focusing on two thematic areas--affective experiences of urban space, and the making of urban public spaces--we examine how this commitment is expressed in recent contributions to feminist urban geography. Both bodies of work successfully challenge a divide between scholarship that focuses on how cities constrain, disadvantage and oppress women, and scholarship that focuses on how cities liberate women. However, we are disturbed by a seeming bifurcation between work concerned with issues of recognition and work focusing on issues of redistribution, with the former being well represented in Gender, Place and Culture and the latter more likely to be aired in 'mainstream' journals. We conclude by reflecting on our lack of perspective on the trajectories of feminist urban geography outside of the Anglo-American context and ask whether the boundaries within which our review has been conducted are themselves gendered.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, MontreĀ“al, Canada

Publication date: September 1, 2003

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