Putting Wacquant to Work: John Flint and Ryan Powell publish new book

Professor John Flint and Ryan Powell have edited a new book which critically engages with Loic Waquant’s work on urban marginality and his distinct approach to understanding the contemporary urban condition.

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Class, Ethnicity and State in the Polarized Metropolis unpicks the (re-)making of urban marginality in advanced capitalist societies and features contributions from leading international urban scholars as well as new emergent voices, including two chapters from Wacquant himself. The volume takes stock of Wacquant’s body of work and assesses and interrogates its value as a springboard for rethinking urban marginality in polarizing times.

The contributions challenge, develop, critique and refine Wacquant’s framework, while also synthesizing it with other perspectives and bringing it into dialogue with new areas of inquiry. The book will be of interest to scholars engaged in understanding the complex drivers and contexts of urban marginality, as well as how to respond to it.

John Flint is Professor of Urban and Regional Planning and Director of Research in the Faculty of Social Sciences; Ryan Powell is Reader in Urban Studies in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the University of Sheffield.

“We hope that the book can help clarify Wacquant’s distinctive approach while also extending, refining and critiquing his conceptual framework in application to new urban questions and contexts in these contemporary polarized times,” said Ryan Powell.

In this compelling collection, the full destruction of inequality is laid bare. The ‘Centaur State’ is exposed through the brutal forms of surveillance, punishment and exclusion that saturate urban life. This book is an urgent and useful contribution to positioning and challenging Wacquant’s work, and for entering into the systematic wreckage of contemporary inequality.

Suzanne Hall

Director of the Cities Programme, London School of Economics and Political Science

This is a must-read book for everyone interested in debates on contemporary urban inequality in general and Loic Wacquant’s sociological contribution to this debate in particular. The book provides a very readable introduction to Wacquant’s oeuvre as well as offering a sophisticated set of applications and critiques of his formidable conceptual armoury.

Professor Paul Watt

University of London

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