By Punam Khosla
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Extra resources for Privatization, Segregation and Dispossession in Western Urban Space: An Antiracist, Marxist-Feminist Reading of David Harvey
Al. 1925). This group of urban theorists saw ghettos as formed by cultural preference, and thereby naturalized the racialized divisions emerging in American cities (Harvey 1973: 130-1). Harvey used the approach developed by Engels in The Condition of the English Working Class in 1844, which in his view “is far more consistent with hard economic and social realities than was the essentially cultural approach of Park and Burgess”(1973: 133). Far from a matter of choice, ghettos are formed because poor people are subject to competitive bidding in the land market, exclusive zoning, lack of transportation access, and the lifestyle preferences of the rich.
In Figure 2 (page 46) the upper half of the diagram represents Harvey’s articulation of the second circuit of capital. This second circuit is divided into two aspects – fixed Capital on the left and the consumption fund on the right. Fixed capital is that which is used in production as in factory buildings and machinery used in the accumulation process, while the consumption fund is made up of houses and domestic equipment such as washing machines, stoves etc. Transportation, communications and other aspects of urban infrastructure are used for both production and consumption.
Although he does supplement this analysis with occasional suggestions that practices of discrimination reinforce the economic dynamics of the urban land market, he does not explore how racism as a social force shapes urban space and society. But neglect is not the only issue with Harvey’s approach to ‘race’ dynamics. There is also a murkiness in his analysis of racialization. This becomes obvious when he Page 32 of 187 Punam Khosla, Major Research Paper Master in Environmental Studies, York University, 2005 positions racism as a hangover from the internal social relations in ‘traditional’ societies brought into modern world through the process of colonization.