Autonomy and the Spaciousness of the Social in Denmark

The Conflict Between Ungdomshuset and Faderhuset

in Social Analysis
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  • 1 University of Copenhagen stine.kroijer@anthro.ku.dk
  • 2 University of Copenhagen inger.sjoerslev@anthro.ku.dk
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This article is concerned with the idea of societal 'spaciousness' and its relationship to individual and collective autonomy. These issues are analyzed in the context of the eviction of a self-managed social center of left-radical activists in Copenhagen and the protests and public debate that followed. The authors find that societal spaciousness in Denmark is metaphorically associated with a house or a limited physical space. People should limit themselves in public space, as in a house, to 'make room' for all. Because youngsters are not conceived of as fully fledged political subjects who are able to conduct themselves appropriately in public space, they become a group of special concern. The authors argue that space should be conceived as a dimension of social relations, and that sociality relies on a temporal assemblage of people, things, and imaginaries with space.

Social Analysis

The International Journal of Anthropology

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