Space Generates Opportunity

Shops on Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park, an affluent neighborhood in the Chicago community of West Town.
Shops in the Chicago Lawn, the ‘guetto’ of Chicago.

In chapter 8 “Toward a New Socialspatial Dialectic” of City of Rhetoric, David Fleming rhetorically explains the idea that space matters because the organization of it can lead to an equal field of opportunities for all individuals to express their rhetorical voices. More specifically, he argues that there exists a link between individual’s environments and their opportunities. For example, Fleming exposes that one side of the conversation believes that all environments are different and as such provide the individuals whom inhabit them different resources that determine their success. Fleming sides with this view because it explains the unequal distribution of opportunities for individuals. For Fleming, then, designing spaces that provide equal opportunities for individuals increases their possibility for success.

Why should creating an even playing field for individuals matter? The reorganization of spaces that provide all socioeconomic individuals equal opportunities contributes to eradicating the greater thought that chronic poverty is causes by poor individuals themselves. Even though creating spaces that even the playing field doesn’t guarantee the eradication of poverty it increases the chances for its decrease.

Works Cited

Fleming, David. “Chapter 8 Toward a New Socialspatial Dialectic.” City of Rhetoric: Revitalizing the Public Sphere in Metropolitan America, SUNY Press, Albany, NY, 2009, pp. 179–194.

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In his book, City of Rhetoric, David Fleming in Chapter 8 “Toward a New Socialspatial Dialectic” rhetorically explains the idea that space matters because the organization of it can lead to an equal field of opportunities for all individuals to express their rhetorical voices. In this chapter, Fleming argues that there exists a link between individual’s environments and their opportunities. In rhetoric discussions of the effects of a built environment on an individual’s opportunities, one controversial issue is whether design generates behavior. On the one hand, modernist argue that individuals are not constituted by a shared space but by shared ideals. In other words, modernists believe that environment is an irrelevant factor in human affairs. On the other hand, others argue that the environment is a factor that affects every individual. They debate that all environments are different and as such provide the individuals whom inhabit them different resources that determine their success. Based on the existing conversations, Fleming agrees with the later because it explains the unequal distribution of opportunities for individuals. He concludes that by designing spaces that provide equal opportunities for individuals their possibility for success is increased.

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