Rhythmanalysis: Rethinking the politics of everyday negotiations in ordinary public spaces - HAL-SHS - Sciences de l'Homme et de la Société Access content directly
Journal Articles Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space Year : 2022

Rhythmanalysis: Rethinking the politics of everyday negotiations in ordinary public spaces

Abstract

The nature of everyday life in metropolitan public spaces is an unprecedented entanglement of activities, emerging from the presence of multiple actors competing for a limited space. Making sense of this complexity is a longstanding challenge in the social sciences: how can such a mesmerizing ‘urban ballet’ be explained in the absence of overall orchestration? I hypothesize thatthis urban rhythm – the temporal alternation of activities in the public spaces of a city – is not neutral, but reveals entrenched power relations which are renegotiated and reaffirmed on a daily basis. Building on the notion of rhythmanalysis, I develop a methodology combining a visual timeline called ‘urban tempo’ with in-depth interviews. I present a case study of a market in pericentral Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), where local actors negotiate access to more or less valuable time slots and spaces throughout the day. I show that such negotiations pertaining to time result in a very practical sense in the production of ordinary public spaces. The findings reveal four types of actors, classified according to their negotiating power. Broadly, the rhythmanalysis presented here reiterates our understanding of power as relational, highlighting the unequal conditions of negotiations in public spaces at a micro-level. By adding a temporal dimension to the politics of the everyday, it also opens up a promising research agenda, inviting comparisons of ‘time-sharing regimes’ across metropolitan contexts.
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Dates and versions

halshs-04244259 , version 1 (16-10-2023)

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Marie Gibert-Flutre. Rhythmanalysis: Rethinking the politics of everyday negotiations in ordinary public spaces. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, 2022, 40 (1), pp.279-297. ⟨10.1177/23996544211020014⟩. ⟨halshs-04244259⟩
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