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Everyday Life in the “Spectacular” City: Making Home in Dubai


Everyday Life in the Spectacular City is a groundbreaking urban ethnography that reveals how middle-class citizens and longtime residents of Dubai interact with the city's so-called superficial spaces to create meaningful social lives. Rather than seeking to uncover the "real" city that lies beneath the veneer of the spectacle, Rana AlMutawa shows that inhabitants adapt themselves to top-down development projects, transforming Dubai's spectacular spaces into personally important cultural sites, and creating social meanings and forms of belonging within the spectacle itself. Rather than viewing inhabitants as alienated victims in cities changing without their input, these practices of belonging within the spectacle expand our understanding of agency as not only subversive but also adaptive. 

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