Peripheral Living in the Post-Urban Era: from Humiliation to the Struggle for Social Justice
Keywords:Peripheral living, Megacities, Boundaries, Misrecognition, Commoning
Peripheral living in cities around the world often takes the form of neglect and humiliation with a lack of material resources. This phenomenon affects a significant percentage of the world’s population and is destined to grow. Peripheral living, a “grey zone” of the “urban sea”, is demarcated from the main institutions and is often seen as an undifferentiated space: included and excluded by the institutions; and included in and excluded from citizenship. In many cases the inhabitants on the periphery of cities and megacities are viewed as dangerous, delinquent, and incapable so the society that counts strives to protect itself by building lines of demarcation and urban fences. In the past, cities were founded with city walls for defence against possible external threats while today these boundaries have been replaced by internal limits that separate the urban area into zones reflecting the hierarchy of power. In this article I intend to provide an interpretation of peripheral living from the viewpoint of the social, cultural and political problems which cause the diverse types of deprivation and misrecognition towards the “inhabitants of the periphery”. In my analysis of this negativity, I will discuss the strategies which peripheral communities implement in the struggle for recognition of their rights, for dignified and humane living, for social justice and to be recognised as capable of achieving personal fulfilment.