Streetlife: the shifting sociologies of the street
Edited by Phil Hubbard (King’s College London) and Dawn Lyon (University of Kent)
The street has long been a key laboratory for studies of social life, from the roots of urban sociology in the ethnographies of the Chicago School to the diverse range of contemporary studies which consider the performative, affective and non-representational nature of street etiquette and encounter. For all this, the street remains only loosely defined in many studies, and sometimes disappears from view entirely, with social action often privileged over material and environmental context. This Special Issue is intended as a spur to take the street more seriously in contemporary sociology, and explores the importance of the street as a site, scale and field for sociological research. Recognising that the street is both contradictory and complex, the Introduction to this Issue draws out emerging themes in the shifting sociologies of the street by highlighting the specific contribution interdisciplinary work can make to our understanding of streets as distinctive but contested social spaces.