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Jaar 2016 x
Artikel

Can I sit?

The use of public space and the ‘other’

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 1 2016
Trefwoorden public space, built environment, other, social control
Auteurs CalvinJohn Smiley PhD
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Newark Penn Station is the most frequented train station in New Jersey, United States. Two distinct groups occupy this public space. First are the commuters who travel by the trains to reach destinations for work or pleasure. Second are the transient who do not use the trains but instead remain in and around the station for various reasons, otherwise known as the ‘other.’ The latter population is closely monitored and controlled by law enforcement through a variety of written and unwritten laws and codes of conduct, which are based on broken windows theory and crime prevention through environment design (CPTED). The primary focus is how the ‘other’ seemingly navigates and occupies public space. Through ethnographic research, this paper reflects and reveals the ways in which the station is a living social organism that simultaneously marginalizes and incorporates those defined as the ‘other’ into this space. This complex and contradictory dynamic illustrates the interactions between public spaces and its occupiers and regulators.


CalvinJohn Smiley PhD
Dr CalvinJohn Smiley is currently working at the Sociology Department of Hunter College at the City University of New York.
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