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Towards a multi-scalar reading of informality in Delft, South Africa: Weaving the ‘everyday’ with wider structural tracings

Liza Rose Cirolia and Suraya Scheba
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Liza Rose Cirolia: Africa Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Suraya Scheba: University of Cape Town, South Africa

Urban Studies, 2019, vol. 56, issue 3, 594-611

Abstract: Informality is a critical theme in urban studies. In recent years, ‘the everyday’ has become a focus of studies on informality in African cities. These studies focus on particularity and place. They offer a useful corrective to top-down and universalising readings which exclude the daily experiences and practices of people from analysis. As we show in this article, everyday studies surface valuable insights, highlighting the agency and precarity which operates at the street level. However, a fuller understanding of informality’s (re)production requires drawing together particularist accounts with wider and more structural tracings. These tracings offer insights into the ways in which state and financial processes influence and interface with the everyday. In this article, we use the case of housing in Delft, a township in Cape Town, to demonstrate this approach and argue for a multi-scalar and relational reading of the production of informality.

Keywords: built environment; everyday urbanism; housing; informality; method; South Africa; urbanisation and developing countries; å»ºæˆ çŽ¯å¢ƒ; æ—¥å¸¸åŸŽå¸‚ç ”ç©¶; ä½ æˆ¿; é žæ­£è§„æ€§; 方法; å —é ž; åŸŽå¸‚åŒ–å’Œå ‘å±•ä¸­å›½å®¶ (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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Handle: RePEc:sae:urbstu:v:56:y:2019:i:3:p:594-611