Care as a key concept in contemporary urban studies

Location: Online
Language: English

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Care as a key concept in contemporary urban studies

The economic and health crises triggered by the pandemic have drawn global attention to vulnerabilities in cities and the importance of caregiving practices. Most studies on care in cities have focused primarily on homes (Federici 1975, 2012). While care may take place within the confines of a residence, many things that we do outside a residence consist of taking care of ourselves, others, and the environment. Our seminar series aims to discuss and conceptualize the urban care practices of women in Europe and Latin America through the lens of social capital in public life, that is, how they use the city as a site of resources for their care practices through urban infrastructure and fluid encounters (Blokland 2017).

The first seminar will take place online on October 19-20, 2023. The seminar will open on the first day with a public lecture by Gautam Bhan and an introduction by the Seminar Series organizing team. This event will introduce care as a key concept in contemporary urban studies. On the second day, a closed workshop will take place in which the selected participants, a team of 12 senior and young scholars from Latin America and Europe, will discuss comparative research methods and work towards a special issue for the Urban Studies journal.

Day 1 (October 19, 2023): Opening event- public lecture by Gautam Bhan (online)

09:30 (Bogotá), 16:30 (Berlin), 20:00 (New Delhi)

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Operationalising Social Protection in the Global South

Drawing on a set of empirical cases collectively produced by researchers at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Bangalore, this lecture turns to a specific part of any urban social contract: the design and operation of social protection systems. Within this, it argues that operational modes of delivering social protection need specific attention within scholarly debates, especially in their complexities within the spatial and economic informality that marks cities of the global south. Put simply: how we deliver both existing and new entitlements is as important as deciding what entitlements urban residents should be entitled to. These have a particular impact on women in informal employment, especially in India, where the empirical cases of the talk will draw from. I offer four main operational concerns that mark the delivery of social protection to informal workers in urban India: (a) residence as an operational barrier; (b) workplaces as sites of delivery; (c) working with worker organisations as delivery infrastructures; and (d) building systems of recognition and registration of informal workers.

Day 2 (closed event, October 20, 2023): “Comparative research and methods: A dialogue between Latin America & Europe on care and the city.”

11:00 (Bogotá), 13:00 (Buenos Aires), 18:00 (Berlín)

This event will include a workshop on proposing a Special Issue in Urban Studies Journal.

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"The Fellowship offered me an invaluable and rare opportunity to conduct academic research in a leading institution during three years, which nowadays is nothing short of a luxury. I cannot emphasise enough how important this is for an early career scholar."

Dr Marcin Dąbrowski, Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

Urban Studies Foundation is a registered Scottish charity. Registration number SC039937.

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