Housing, Age and Protest

Authors: Carolin Genz*,
Topics: Urban Geography, Political Geography, Qualitative Research
Keywords: embodied politics, elders, housing crisis, practices of resistance
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:15 AM
Room: Virtual 6
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


From an ethnographic perspective, the research sheds light on protest and network practices of elder’s urban communities who seek to oppose the effects of the housing crisis. Thus, this research focuses on the praxeological formation of political action while mapping out the bodily, spatial, and material conditions of protest formation to emphasize how protesters can act politically in the public sphere. I am concerned with how older people can be politically active in public spaces to raise awareness of their struggles with rising rents. To understand the conditions of political enactment, especially those of presumably marginalized actors in urban space, I argue for a more differentiated understanding of protest practices and the various intertwined dimensions of protest configuration for theoretical analysis. I consider the conditions of political and embodied action (Arendt 1958; Butler 2011, 2018) and claim that, in times of rent struggles, the older female body, in particular, becomes a site of rent politics. The research wants to provide a central ethnographical contribution to urban protest movement studies and add to an actor-centred and praxeological understanding of the formation of political and protest practices in urban spaces. This ethnography ties to theoretical and methodological discourses in the intersecting fields of critical urban studies, anthropology and human geography.

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