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Urban public space and the construction of social life: a social-pedagogical perspective

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This paper addresses the question of what meaning urban public space has in relation to the process of children’s socialisation. It builds on data from qualitative research into the social-pedagogical meaning of three contrasting neighbourhoods in the city of Ghent. In this research, the neighbourhood was studied as a social and spatial context in which particular socialising practices are constantly constructed and reconstructed through the everyday social actions and practices of people, including children, and hence influence the socialisation processes of children. The research shows that different patterns influence the strategies through which children learn to deal with issues like diversity, otherness and unpredictability in different ways, ranging from excluding this diversity from the everyday lifeworld, through enclosing oneself within one’s own social group, to learning through the everyday confrontation with diversity.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Social Work and Welfare Studies,University College Ghent, Ghent, Belgium 2: Department of Social Welfare Studies,Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

Publication date: February 1, 2012

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