Managing Memphis: governance and regulation in sterile spaces of play

Michael Silk, D Andrews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (SciVal)


Silk, M., Andrews, D., 2008. Managing Memphis: governance and regulation in sterile spaces of play. Social identities, 14 (3), pp. 395-414. Full text not available from this repository. Official URL: Abstract Designed for the express purpose of encouraging consumption-intensive capital accumulation, the physical and symbolic reconstitution of select parcels of America's urbanscape into spectacular, multifaceted environments has heralded a new epoch in the material [re]formation of urban America. Yet, on daring to venture behind the corporatist veil of urban regeneration, one is soon confronted with an array of social injustices instantiated through the brutalizing praxis of the neoliberal public/private institutional amalgams that regulate, manage, and govern today's entrepreneurial cityscapes. Our focal points in this paper are the policies and practices of social governance through which both valorized and pathologized urban bodies are made visible, regulated and managed, as they contribute toward materializing the differentiated (and indeed differentiating) new urban landscape. We concentrate our argument on one North American city, Memphis, and specifically the efforts by private and public institutions to regulate and manage the Memphis cityspace, and realize the goal of reinventing the city (both materially and symbolically). Through dissecting the Memphis scenario, we discuss, and expose: the 'lean and mean' (Smith, 1998) urban geographies of aggressive place management and marketing; and, the various narratives underpinning the discursive constitution of belonging and difference within the revanchist metropolis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-414
Number of pages20
JournalSocial Identities
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • neoliberalism
  • cityspace
  • regulation
  • governance


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