Sociology of Space and Urban Boundaries. Embodiment through Communitarian Education

Mônica Mesquita, Caetano Ana, Karen Francois

Onderzoeksoutput: Chapterpeer review


This chapter presents the research output of a critical ethnographic
study in Portugal—the Urban Boundaries project—on the “invisible
communities” living on the outskirts of the Lisbon Metropolitan area. The
study required the development of an interdisciplinary study on the
concept of space in order to attend to the needs of three different cultural
groups. The research project includes members of each group, cooperating
in order to attend to each other’s main goals: (i) the Academic group
focuses on the necessity of an emancipatory educational policy and
practice; (ii) the Bairro group is centered on the desire to have a water
supply in their territory; and (iii) the Fishing group is working on
strengthening their social voice. Therefore, the Urban Boundaries’ project
is founded on the encounter with diversity: actors with different social,
geographic, history, cultural, and school backgrounds. In the face of this
diversity, the structure of this project is based on a flexible sketch, where
multicultural voices can be heard, having as a common stage the fieldwork
data that was collectively collected and analyzed.
The concept of space is reconstructed by an interdisciplinary view, in
which Situationality (Freire, 1970), Curriculum Trivium (D’Ambrosio,
2006), Act (Žižek, 2008), Topology (Balibar, 2002 2011), and
Communitarian Education (Mesquita et al. 2011) supply a theoretical
toolkit for a collective critical analysis and local intervention. In this sense,
the Curriculum Trivium is used for the understanding, recognition, and
empowerment of the communities through local educational processes as
fundamental paraphernalia for survival. The concept of Topology is used
as an analytic layer in the process of development in diversity—
understanding the diversity of spatial and territorial experiences and
claims in the project by multiple representations (descriptions, narratives,
poems, photographs, and paintings among others). The concept of Act is
used to argue the encounter of the three communities involved and the
collective recognition of their own Situationality—materially and
symbolically speaking. The concept of Communitarian Education allows
the knowledge of the construction of the local educative practices and the
local embodied questions of knowledge, power, affection, and local
human identity. This interdisciplinary theoretical framework is useful as
an analytical and operative tool to analyse and empower the Urban
Boundaries as a space of encounter between three communities, developed
with an ethical and political commitment, with affection as its core axis.

Keywords: urban boundaries, communitarian education,
empowerment, curriculum trivium, situationality.
Originele taal-2English
TitelEmbodiment and Cultural Differences
RedacteurenMaria Pirani, Thomas Smith
UitgeverijCambridge Scholars Publishing
Aantal pagina's25
ISBN van elektronische versie978-1-4438-9467-8
ISBN van geprinte versie1-4438-9467-2
StatusPublished - jun 2016


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