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Unlearning the CityInfrastructure in a New Optical Field$
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Swati Chattopadhyay

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780816679317

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816679317.001.0001

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The Optical Field

The Optical Field

(p.39) 2 The Optical Field
Unlearning the City

Swati Chattopadhyay

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter assesses the construction of an optical field in which dominant frameworks are unlearned. It evaluates the theoretical approach that would give access to the ways of viewing cities that do not a priori privilege global flows or the amassment of fixed capital and infrastructure. It states that the theories of resistance and subalternity yield a range of conceptual devices to underline the ontological priority of the dominant. These devices include strategy versus tactics, homogenous versus fragmentary, visible versus hidden, and continuous versus episodic. The chapter suggests that the assumption of ontological priority of the people requires a more thorough explanation of the relation between elite and popular culture.

Keywords:   optical field, dominant frameworks, global flows, capital, infrastructure, theories of resistance, subalternity, conceptual devices, ontological priority

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