The street as a liminal space: the barbed spaces of childhood

Matthews, H., , 2003, The street as a liminal space: the barbed spaces of childhood, in: Christensen, P. & M.O’Brien, ‘Children in the city’, RoutledgeFalmer, London

  • Author : Matthews, H.,
  • Year : 2003
  • Published in Book : Children in the city
  • Pages : 101-117
  • Outline in English : The Street is suggested as a metaphor for all outdoor spaces within the public domain, acts as a liminal setting or site of passage, a place which both makes possible and signifies a means of transition through which some young people move away from the restrictions of their childhood roots towards the independence of adulthood. The author consider how the street is infused with cultural identity and how , in their attempts to claim socially autonomous space within the public domain, young people frequently collide with aduldts and with other groups of young people. Confrontations of this sort are the rituals of transition within the socially barbed space of the street. In order to disentangle these street stories, the author pays particular attention to the ways in which age and gender cuts across place use. It is suggested that streets are sites of latent contradiction for many young people, marginal places that are simultaneously dangerous and yet empowering. Streets are domains of anti-structure, one of the places where young people push up against the limits, establish their hybridity and set out on a transition towards incorporation into the adult world.
  • Comments/Notes : KEYWORDS: children, city, “street”, hanging around, affordance, place, gender, play.