week one main:Whose fault?

Everyone has the right to enjoy their life in their city, but the life seems to be not so enjoyable when the reality hits them.

“The rich grow richer and the poor get poorer through the egalitarianism of exchange. No wonder those of wealth and power support such rights. Class divisions widen. Cities become more ghettoized as the rich seal themselves off for protection while the poor become ghettoized by default.”(Harvey, p.431. 2003) While the rich people throwing away their food, there’s still a group of people suffering from hunger. I admit the people have the higher education level carry more professional ability and knowledge, it is reasonable they deserve to have higher chance than others.

There’s one kid born in Europe, another in africa. Who do you think would have better chance in the future? The european kid could definitely get the financial support from his family in the future when he goes to college, so as he grown up, he could easily become a middle-class, if he works harder, he would stand on top of the pyramid. But how about the african kid? He might be striking his whole lifetime for food.

It is an unequal competition, but whose fault?

I am scared of the way our society looks like today. Even if some employer mark them self ‘equal opportunity’, they still care about sexual orientation, race, disability…

Zukin(1995) introduced us the idea that the definition of public spaces changes. ‘The force of order have retreated into “small urban spaces,” like privately managed public parks that can be refashioned to project an image of civility.’ (Zukin, P.357. 1995) The city is not the way we want it to be, it is what the creative class, the rich people makes it to be. Zukin’s argument reminds me of the construction in front of Wellesley subway station, i’m not quite familiar with toronto, so I think that place used to be a park, and now that land is being purchased by a corporation and they might want to build another condo building there. There’s people painting the huge words on the fence around that area all in upper case letter: ‘WE WANT A PARK’, ‘KA-CHING’ , I can’t clearly remember, but it’s something like that. I could feel their anger and sadness…There’s too many high-rises like thousands of needles sticking on the heart of toronto. The poor are forced to move to the rural place because they can’t afford their living in downtown anymore. Not only toronto, but many other ‘high-end’ cities in the world like hongkong, new york, and miami are facing this issue. The tourist only see the good part of the city, but how many people feel the anger of those poor people who used to live in downtown but are forced to move to the rural place due to the ‘development’???!!!

That’s why the gap between each group is growing continuously. How would the gap look like after 50 years?

Whose fault?

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Reference: Harvey, D. 2013. The Right to the City. The Urban Sociology Reader, Lin, J. and Mele C. (eds), New York: Routledge, 429-432.

Zimmerman, J. 2008. From brew town to cool town: Neoliberalism and the creative city development strategy in Milwaukee. Cities, 25, 230-242.

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One thought on “week one main:Whose fault?

  1. Karen,
    This is a great first blog post – you have clearly linked the articles with your own ideas about social justice, rights and inequality. You also share your reflections on being concerned about the way our society looks today because of injustices and inequal opportunities.

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