AbstractUrbanization is one of the most astonishing transformations in the history of our species. Social scientists have spilled much ink trying to understand what cities do to humans. While there has been some psychoanalysis of cities (e.g. Pile 2005a), there is certainly room for more given the enormous importance of the process. This chapter argues that an unconscious size fetish plays a key role in alluring people to the city. Although in many ways the city provides many freedoms to urbanites, it also entraps them in city dreams and illusions. Urbanization has been typically depicted as an overly positive phenomenon, especially by economists; there is, therefore, a need to highlight its shortcomings and problems, and to understand why people prefer it regardless. In addition, this chapter argues that cities have much in common with capitalism, and that perhaps both do more harm than good.
NoteReproduced from Psychoanalysis and the Global, edited by I. Kapoor, by permission of the University of Nebraska Press. Copyright 2017 by the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska Press.
SubjectsUrbanicity, Urbanization, City, Fetish, Desire, Psychoanalysis
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