chapter  4
18 Pages

Post-Fordist Polarization: The Changing Spatial Order of the City

Johannesburg’s spatial order has usually been interpreted solely in terms of the changing pattern of racial residential segregation or desegregation. As such, the changing racial order of the city has been explained in terms of particular social and economic interests, and struggles over racial urban policies and practices. As we argued in Chapter 3, we believe that this approach is unnecessarily narrow and makes it difficult to understand urban social processes that are driving intraracial rather than inter-racial inequality. This is particularly important if one is to identify and understand emerging patterns of urban inequality that are not specifically racial in character. In our account, we therefore attempt to explain Johannesburg’s changing spatial order in somewhat broader terms than specifically racial ones. Instead of restricting our focus to the changing racial order of the city, we aim to describe and to begin to offer explanations of changes in the overall spatial order of the city. In doing so, we are particularly interested in the implications of the new spatial order for urban inequality – racial and otherwise.