“Toward a New Sociospatial Dialectic”
In part three of City Rhetoric by David Fleming, the author begins to argue how history of segregation, urban fencing and contemporary population demographics make it hard to promote common places and governed states that dramatically break the troubled past of this particular neighborhood and is capable of greater involvement in the multicultural global economy (Fleming, Loc. 2625). More accurately the author states that we need to find a way, “to encourage participation by ordinary people in the self-determination of their own communities but within a context that forces them to work with others very different from themselves” (Loc. 2625). The author, specifically to chapter eight, breaks away from stating historic facts of social segregation and urban exclusion in the city of Chicago, to state how the city specifically those of the South Side of the city, the black belt, to how the current state of the city won’t allow improvement for those who suffer from these devastating effects. The author questions whether the understanding and facts stated in parts one and two of the book might help us attain information even improve our understanding, theories, practices, and pedagogues of public life (Loc. 2640).
We learn that the idea of a common place is much more than just physical in today’s globalized world, we now live tied together by ideas, shared values, and shared knowledge. The surroundings of our upbringings and the built environments to which we call home teach us that, “place matters, and this is as true for rhetoric as for education and employment” (Loc.2650). We have been led to believe that the environment is of complete irrelevance because we have thought of “man” as, in essence, a godlike creature: self-sufficient, self-governed, and self motivating, although somewhat accurate, the author challenges that our built environment our place of origin matters, and is true to all aspects of access to education and labor that allows individuals to get ahead in society. Today’s largest issues, particularly in the United States, is the history of racial segregation and clustering, which leads to ghettos and creates distinct, not only physical, but cultural backgrounds as well. Indirectly cultural clash has caused Physical Marginalization which is both a cause and effect of social, economic, and political Marginalization (Loc.2724). David Fleming is leading our understanding to how we are indoctrinated to believe our built environment affects our role in society as purely self driven, and self chosen, to actually realizing that where we live, might have actually physical and intellectual limitations, that dictates our role in the commonwealth.
Understanding that we are strongly influenced from our physical and cultural environments, we learn that we fall into similarity with the people in our communities. We house ourselves in areas with people that share our same interests, ideas, and culture. Moreover the author poses a compelling question: is it possible in today’s United States, a patchwork of diversity imbued with an equally incongruent set of ideologies, for citizens to prosper mutually?