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Excerpt [uncorrected, not for citation] Introduction Cities are a combination of many things: Her group comprises eleven people, all of whom are local; the setting is this city's centro storico historic center. For the occasion, the medieval neighborhood is bathed in a sallow moonlight.
Through the evocative power of Beatrice's words and the suggestiveness of the built environment, we encounter sinful nuns, murderous aristocrats, and medieval mass burials. The highlight of Beatrice's tour, however, is one of Genoa's most recent ghosts: Those who saw her claim that the elderly woman would ask passersby for directions to Vico dei Librai, and then she would vanish.
Vico dei Librai no longer exists: Yet the ghost's timing also presaged an urban reenchantment process Ritzer and an aestheticization of the cityscape that were meant to foster this city's visitability Dicks as an alternative to its declining industrial economy.
Celebrated in books and websites, the vecchina has now become a staple in local lore. During this walking tour, her presence is effectively channeled through Beatrice: Drawing on her evocative words as well as the suggestive settings of the tour, Beatrice allows glimpses of a long-gone Genoa to emerge within the imagination of her audiences, thus conjuring the hidden out of the familiar.
Yet Beatrice's tales are not just commodities. Instead, they are also the creative results of her own scholarly interests she is a published author of urban history books as well as her passion for the occult.
A few days after the tour, Beatrice will be walking around Genoa's centro storico with a subtle energy sensor in her hands.
A tremor of her biotensor will indicate a ghastly presence; Beatrice's task, then, will be to use her spells to bring it to the fore. As it leaves its hideout, the ghost may become a story in Beatrice's rich repertoire as a professional teller of tales about all that Genoa hides.
Original though her craft may be, Beatrice is hardly alone in her endeavor of shaping new experiences for urban publics eager to view their city through new eyes. Working along with her in revitalized Genoa are scores of fellow walking-tour guides, artisans, shopkeepers, festival organizers, artists, and poets who, since the early s, have contributed to what is now Genoa's culture industry.
This book explores how, working in the shade of Genoa's revitalization process, creative individuals like Beatrice have turned their education, interests, and sensibilities into a source of income, thus helping craft urban imaginaries Cinar and Bender that reflect their own experiences as passionate explorers of the urban everyday.
His passion and his profession were to become one flesh with the crowd. Or we might liken him to a mirror as vast as the crowd itself; or to a kaleidoscope gifted with consciousness, responding to each one of its movements and reproducing the multiplicity of life and the flickering grace of all the elements of life.
Benjamin's critique became immensely influential for urban studies across disciplinary boundaries. Resonating with the Marxist suspicion of consumption as well as with the elitist disdain for the tastes of the masses and the masculinist contempt for shopping as a female practice Featherstone ; Morrisin the late twentieth century the condemnation of the intensely aesthetic commercial enchantment of the contemporary "voodoo" or "fantasy" city Dicks ; Hannigan ; Harvey ; Ritzer ; Zukin became synonymous with the allegedly mindless "enjoyment without consequences" Welsch While ranging considerably in disciplinary paradigm, methodological approach, and level of empiricism, these studies share a critical focus on the all-powerful role of corporate capitals in shaping the urban everyday.
Their core argument is that what ensues from the commercial aestheticization of the urban experience disempowers city dwellers, seducing them into surrendering to the material and ideological might of corporate capitals. Yet, while much of North Atlantic scholarship indicts consumer capitalism for the loss of truly democratic public space Mitchell ; Harvey ; Zukin, it bears remembering that not all revitalized cityscapes around the world are organized along the lines of the same social, spatial, and above all capitalist criteria as U.
In distancing herself from the political economy paradigm that has long been hegemonic in the study of cities, Aihwa Ong Drawing on Michel de Certeau The view from "down below" de Certeau The latter, as this book suggests, may use their skills not only to navigate and consume the city Richards Instead of reducing urban aestheticization to a crass consumerist spectacle engineered by corporations, here I seek to offer a more nuanced exploration of forms of production of highly symbolic and experiential goods that are both material and intangible Featherstone As the "artist who doesn't paint" and the "writer who will one day write a book" Featherstone Even though they are themselves adept at consuming various aspects of city life, the protagonists of this book, instead, are neither idle voyeurs nor are they passive gapers.
Rather, they are both purposeful explorers of the urban experience and creators of a range of material and immaterial cultural goods and services capable of enacting an aestheticization of the city that is largely independent from corporate dynamics.
As such, they are uneasy subjects of anthropological inquiry. On the basis of the implicit division of scholarly labor that assigned the study of modernity to sociologists and the investigation of traditional cultures to anthropologists Wolf When they began expanding their horizons to urban societies, most anthropologists still limited themselves to studying down, thus focusing their attention exclusively on the marginal and the downtrodden.
It is only in recent years that anthropologists have overcome the "Marxist 'embarrassment' of the middle class" Wright And yet, influenced by the Marxist paradigm Ong as well as by anthropology's traditional emphasis on the "other," the vast majority of ethnographies with an explicitly urban agenda still focus on the plight of the poor and the disenfranchised.
While such scholarship has the merit of shedding light on dynamics of downright oppression and resistance, it also reiterates the anthropological invisibility of the middle classes—almost as if, as Nick Dines Taking a somewhat germane stance, geographic scholarship portrays the middle classes as agents of gentrification and the displacement of urban working classes.
Even though they may differ on whether the urban middle classes operate on the basis of culture and taste or whether they are simply the dupes of top-down capitalist dynamics, such approaches classify these social groups along a continuum that ranges from the limited agency of marginal gentrifiers Beauregard ; Rose and the contradictions intrinsic to liberal middle-class subjectivities Ley to the downright racist and classist revanchism of yuppies Smith Suggesting a strikingly different perspective, in urban theorist Richard Florida targeted an audience of urban administrators and policymakers with his argument that cities experience growth only when they are successful in attracting highly educated and creative people—a feat at which they can only succeed by fostering an atmosphere of diversity and tolerance set against the backdrop of easily available advanced technology.
Florida's thesis drew a considerable amount of criticism for its hyperbolic advocacy Peck It is recognized that the global technology landscape is shifting so dramatically and rapidly that any attempt by the committee to devise a formal risk assessment of the future threat horizon exploiting dual-use technologies by state actors, non-state actors, or individuals could be an exercise in futility.
For the first time, researchers at the University of Illinois have quantified and compared these issues in terms of economics of the entire production system to determine if the benefits . The OECD Observer magazine keeps the public ahead of economic and social policy challenges of our time.
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So Philips hit on a new strategy: keep the factories in China but export most of the goods to the United States and elsewhere. By , Philips has invested some $ billion in China.1/5(1). 1 day ago · So is the global clampdown on emissions following VW's diesel cheating scandal. Carmakers long aspired to follow Henry Ford's ideal of using one set of production .
So these older systems of taxation, based on excise and tariff revenue, were not generating enough revenue, and it began to be appreciated that raising tariffs quite high results in the benefits of international trade being lost and also encourages smuggling.