ISSN: 20509790
First published in 2014
3 issues per volume
Volume 2 Issue 1-2
Cover Date: June 2015
The right to the city (If You Want It): Marshall Berman and urban culture
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Authors:  Gareth Millington 
DOI: 10.1386/jucs.2.1-2.177_1

Marshall Berman,culture,right to the city,hip hop,Henri Lefebvre,Marxist humanism,urbanization

This article examines how Marshall Berman’s writings on urban culture and politics illuminates and extends our understanding of the role that culture plays in Henri Lefebvre’s emancipatory notion of the right to the city, a role that tends to be underplayed by contemporary critical urbanists. The article begins by summarizing Lefebvre’s arguments about the importance of culture in understanding the right to the city. Next, it is suggested that Berman understands culture in two ways that are helpful in terms of augmenting Lefebvre’s arguments. The first is urban culture as spectacle and the second is culture as appropriation. The article then reviews Berman’s account of the birth of hip hop from the South Bronx in order to demonstrate how urban culture is imbricated in the right to the city before discussing the implications and challenges posed by Berman’s arguments.
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