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- DescriptionIn mid-twentieth century France, the term social space ( l'espace social) -- the idea that spatial form and social life are inextricably linked -- emerged in a variety of social science disciplines. Taken up by the French New Left, it also came to inform the practice of urban planning. In The View from Above, Jeanne Haffner traces the evolution of the science of social space from the interwar period to the 1970s, illuminating in particular the role of aerial photography in this new way of conceptualizing socio-spatial relations. As early as the 1930s, the view from above served for Marcel Griaule and other anthropologists as a means of connecting the social and the spatial. Just a few decades later, the Marxist urban sociologist Henri Lefebvre called the perspective enabled by aerial photography -- a technique closely associated with the French colonial state and military -- the space of state control. Lefebvre and others nevertheless used the tion of social space to recast the problem of massive modernist housing projects (grands ensembles) to encompass the modern suburb (banlieue) itself -- a critique that has contemporary resonance in light of the banlieue riots of 2005 and 2007. Haffner shows how such views permitted new ways of conceptualizing the old problem of housing to emerge. She also points to broader issues, including the influence of the colonies on the metropole, the application of sociological expertise to the study of the built environment, and the development of a spatially oriented critique of capitalism.
- Author BiographyJeanne Haffner is a Lecturer on the History of Science at Harvard University. Peter Galison is Pellegrino University Professor of the History of Science and of Physics at Harvard University. He is the author of Einstein's Clocks, Poincare's Maps: Empires of Time, How Experiments End, and Image and Logic: A Material Culture of Microphysics, among other books, and coeditor (with Emily Thompson) of The Architecture of Science (MIT Press, 1999).
- Author(s)Jeanne Haffner
- PublisherMIT Press Ltd
- Date of Publication19/04/2013
- SubjectScience: General & Reference
- Place of PublicationCambridge, Mass.
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintMIT Press
- Content Note26 b&w photos
- Weight599 g
- Width178 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine11 mm
- Foreword byPeter Galison
- Interest AgeFrom 18
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