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Southern urbanism or a world of cities? Modes of enacting a more global urban geography in textbooks, teaching and research

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Despite growing attentiveness to cities in the global south, questions remain as to how to enact a more global urban studies. We analyze five contemporary textbooks as a lens into how southern cities ought to be incorporated in teaching as well as the field of urban geography. We find both separate chapters for southern cities (southern urbanism), and southern cities integrated into existing thematic chapters (a world of cities). We further show that i) the global south is 2–33% of the content; ii) information about the south is typically more general than the north, but never as universal trends iii) representations differ not just in content but in style and iv) the south is exemplar or exception rather than as a source of theory. We suggest that geographers must continue their efforts in thinking about how southern cities should be incorporated in urban geography in and outside the classroom.
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Keywords: Teaching; southern cities; southern urbanism; urban theory; world of cities

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, USA

Publication date: October 21, 2019

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