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Friday, April 10 • 9:50am - 10:30am
PS25.0 A tale of two cities? Citizenship and the privatization of security in Miami

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My research is part of a larger comparative research project that looks into the relationships of contemporary security governance and the experience and enactment of citizenship in five different cities. More specifically, my research uses security as a case to expand our understanding of how and where new forms of citizenship are produced and existing ones reconfigured in the city of Miami. It departs from the understanding that citizenship is a social construct that can develop beyond the realm of the national state, for example in the relationships of rights and responsibilities between private security, neighborhood watches, and residents.

Rather than departing from the a priori presence of a clear-cut dichotomy between public and private and client and threat, my research is based upon an empirical understanding of security assemblages. This means that I perceive these theoretical conceptualizations to be much more fluid and intertwined as security providers and residents can represent multiple and different roles simultaneously.

Following this line of thinking, I will study to what extent roles and relationships are constructed in security encounters, as well as analyze how security encounters produce spatial meaning and regimes of mobility in order to theorize the production of citizenships. After 1,5 month of fieldwork, I have selected Overtown, Wynwood and South Beach as my main research locations.

By adopting an ethnographic methodological approach, I will be able to explore how police officers, private companies, neighborhood watches, and residents encounter each other as inherent and sometimes inescapable part of daily urban life. This allows me to uncover the narratives, interpretations, and experiences that inform and follow from these interactions.

Friday April 10, 2015 9:50am - 10:30am
Biscayne Ballroom (2nd floor)