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Living with Difference? The 'Cosmopolitan City' and Urban Reimaging in Manchester, UK

Craig Young, Martina Diep and Stephanie Drabble
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Craig Young: Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences, Manchester Metropolitan University, John Dalton Building, Chester Street, Manchester, M1 5GD, UK, c.young@mmu.ac.uk and s.drabble@mmu.ac.uk
Martina Diep: Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, Downing Place, Cambridge, CB2 3EN, UK, md394@cam.ac.uk
Stephanie Drabble: Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences, Manchester Metropolitan University, John Dalton Building, Chester Street, Manchester, M1 5GD, UK, s.drabble@mmu.ac.uk

Urban Studies, 2006, vol. 43, issue 10, 1687-1714

Abstract: This paper explores notions of cosmopolitanism and the 'cosmopolitan city' to interrogate how difference is constructed and treated in the contemporary entrepreneurial city. This is achieved through a grounded case study of the operationalising of notions of cosmopolitanism in Manchester, UK. This is examined in two ways. First, the construction of notions of the cosmopolitan city in the private-sector place marketing of a new 'cosmopolitan city-centre lifestyle' are analysed to reveal how urban reimaging creates a geography of difference in which certain forms of difference are valued or pathologised and fixed in space. Secondly, the analysis explores the contested ways in which the new city-centre 'cosmopolitan' residents understand and reproduce notions of cosmopolitanism and how this links to the treatment of difference in the city. The paper concludes by evaluating how interrogating notions of cosmopolitanism through a grounded urban case study, linking the textual analysis of urban imagery produced by the private sector to the political economy of the city, and investigating what actually happens in these new cosmopolitan city spaces contribute to the understanding of difference in the contemporary city.

Date: 2006
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