On the Plaza The Politics of Public Space and Culture

ISBN-10: 0292747144
ISBN-13: 9780292747142
Edition: 2000
Authors: Setha M. Low
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Description: Friendly gossip, political rallies, outdoor concerts, drugs, shoeshines, and sex-for-salealmost every aspect of Latin American life has its place and time in the public plaza. In this wide-ranging, multi-disciplinary study, Setha M. Low explores the  More...

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Book details

List price: $28.95
Copyright year: 2000
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication date: 4/1/2000
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 296
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.100

Friendly gossip, political rallies, outdoor concerts, drugs, shoeshines, and sex-for-salealmost every aspect of Latin American life has its place and time in the public plaza. In this wide-ranging, multi-disciplinary study, Setha M. Low explores the interplay of space and culture in the plaza, showing how culture acts to shape public spaces and how the physical form of the plaza encodes the social and economic relations within its city.Low centers her study on two plazas in San Joseacute;, Costa Rica, with comparisons to public plazas in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere. She interweaves ethnography, history, literature, and personal narrative to capture the ambiance and meaning of the plaza. She also uncovers the contradictory ethnohistories of the European and indigenous origins of the Latin American plaza and explains why the plaza is often a politically contested space.

List of Illustrations
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Notes from the Field: A Personal Account
Public Space and Culture: The Case of the Latin American Plaza
Histories
The History of the Plaza in San Jose, Costa Rica: The Political Symbolism of Public Space
The European History of the Plaza: Power Relations and Architectural Interpretation
The Indigenous History of the Plaza: The Contested Terrain of Architectural Representations
Ethnographies
Spatializing Culture
The Social Production and Social Construction of Public Space
Constructing Difference: The Social and Spatial Boundaries of Everyday Life
Public Space and Protest: The Plaza as Art and Commodity
Conversations
The Park and the Plaza in Costa Rican Literature Imagined Places
Conversations on the Plaza: Remembered Places
Public Space, Politics, and Democracy
Appendix: Recent Costa Rican Presidents and Their Terms
Bibliography
Index

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