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Concrete JunglesUrban Pollution and the Politics of Difference in the Caribbean$
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Rivke Jaffe

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190273583

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190273583.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Introduction
Concrete Jungles

Rivke Jaffe

Oxford University Press

The introduction sets out the scope of the book: to explore how urban inequalities and the socio-spatial fragmentation of Caribbean cities both reflect and reinforce divergent discourses and practices pertaining to the environment—glossed here as Uptown and Downtown environmentalism. In so doing, the book connects environmental anthropology and urban studies, disrupting urban–nature dichotomies. The introduction argues that political economy approaches to environmental injustice must be supplemented by attention to the cultural politics that naturalize the unequal distribution of pollution. In addition, it suggests that “provincializing” urban political ecology by focusing on cities from the global South enables a better understanding of how multiple histories of European imperialism have informed the racialization of urban ecologies. The chapter introduces the concept of “urban naturalisms”: the equation of specific (classed and raced) urban populations with specific traits and types of spaces.

Keywords:   urban political ecology, global South, Caribbean, nature, environmentalism, cities, inequality, urban anthropology, environmental anthropology, space

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