ABSTRACT

The Latin American metropolis is a place with a clear division among social classes being expressed in spatial terms by well-defined areas. The existence of upper-and middle-class areas, on the one hand, and of workers’ districts and socially marginalized neighborhoods, on the other hand, profoundly informs the regional urban landscape. Traveling freely through a Latin American city could be equated to strolling around social differences exposed in showcases. Diverse and well-defined social milieus could be appreciated behind the display cases. Where urban segregation is highly pronounced, namely through the unequal distribution of social, economic, and cultural resources in urban space-including, among others, walls, gated communities, and no-go areas-as well as through different social sectors and ethnic groups, a radicalization of the social consequences may take place. The marked urban segregation leads to the emergence of different neighborhoods with inhabitants of very similar characteristics and thus to distinct social identities. Finally, such urban processes produce the stigmatization and social exclusion of particular social groups and the avoidance of their spaces as “no-go areas” (Guerrero 2006).