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Cities and the city: spatio-temporal imaginaries of class and gender in Barranquilla and Cali, Colombia

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This paper analyzes the spatio-temporal imaginations of women in the upper, middle, and lower classes of Barranquilla and Cali. These two intermediate Colombian cities are becoming increasingly important in terms of Colombia's urbanization and modernization plans. The text explores the ‘mobility tragedy’ as one of the main urban issues of Colombian cities, and the homogeneous and linear way in which this ‘tragedy’ supposedly affects women. Using focus groups, the authors show that mobility has differential effects according to the gender and class of the urban inhabitants of the two cities, who, from their differential experiences, build different spatio-temporal imaginaries and representations of urban spaces that are never pre-established elements. Based on the findings of the fieldwork carried out during 2016 and 2017, the authors propose a conceptualization of urban spaces, associated with the life experiences of their inhabitants. This approach emphasizes the distributive effects of mobility on men and women. This is a call to see ‘cities’ within the city, shedding light on the fact that some women take on greater burdens within the city than their male counterparts, destroying the longing for urban spaces as neutral constructions and showing how space and the ways in which different urban systems attempt to manage it through mobility mechanisms, operate as governmentality: they grant meaning to people's lives without them recognizing such mechanisms as influential.
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Keywords: City; gender studies; inequality and mobility; legal geography; women

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Law School, Universidad del Norte, Barranquilla, Colombia; 2: Law School, Icesi University, Cali, Colombia

Publication date: December 2, 2018

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