chapter  8
21 Pages

Situating agency in the context of the post-political city?

ByChristine Hudson

This chapter discusses a governmentality approach focusing on the minor practices of citizen formation and a politics of the cramped spaces of action in the urban. It draws on feminist post-structuralist theories of the subject that emphasise the situated formation of subjectivities and agency within the nexus of racialised, classed and gendered power relations as well as Foucault's concept of counter-conduct to study the small resistances found in women's everyday practices in the city. The chapter explains how the conduct of conduct is both fostering appropriate behaviours and resistance to them, counter-conducts, in women's everyday lives in the city. Through the performance of repetitive everyday acts that both normalise and challenge neoliberal governmentalities, the women help to illustrate the contradictions, antagonisms and instabilities inherent in the post-political city. The social construction of gender difference produces some spaces as women's and others as men's, and these meanings then work to reconstitute the power relations of gendered subjectivities.