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Beyond an over-reliance on historical categories like “ghetto” and “suburb”- a study of post-Apartheid Cape Town
  • Jean-Paul Solomon
Jean-Paul Solomon

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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In the iltearture on spatial changes in post-Fordist cities, concepts like “ghetto” and “suburb” are commonplace, and they have been applied to numerous contexts. However, this study focuses on the potential limitations of relying too heavily on these historical categories, including continuing to interpret new data to the lens of those categories and/or the ideal types used to describe the quartered post-Fordist city. While, this study acknowledges the utility and relevance of those categories, as well as contextually relevant terms like “former Whites-only” and “former Blacks-only” group areas of the Apartheid-era, the analysis proceeds without relying on those categories, only to reintroduce them later to aid intepretation of the findings. Consequently, this study finds that, while some of Cape Town’s subplaces might resemble the ghetto and suburb ideal types, without an over-reliance on those categories a more nuanced and even paradoxical understanding of neighbourhood change is possible.