AffiliationUniv Arizona, Sch Geog & Dev
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CitationMeyer, D. (2020). Security symptoms. Cultural Geographies. https://doi.org/10.1177/1474474020933892
Rights© The Author(s) 2020
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AbstractGentrification is a security project. Though this claim is not new, existing scholarship on contemporary urban (in)security in the Global North, especially in the context of gentrification, has often struggled with a particular problem: how to account for the decidedly ambivalent character of securitization. Familiar frameworks like ‘revanchism’ and ‘fear of crime’ have proven insufficient alone to explain the seemingly paradoxical investment in insecurity that animates the security paradigm. In this article, I consider how psychoanalytic theory might be mobilized for a libidinal geography of urban (in)security, an approach that would focus less on the phantasmagoric referents against which society supposedly needs protection and more on the libidinal investments through which these referents are (re)produced and administered in order to cohere, sustain and naturalize a social and spatial order rooted in dispossession. Drawing on Lacanian articulations of fantasy, drive, jouissance and symptom and applying these concepts to a consideration of contemporary anti-gang policing in the United States, I demonstrate how ambivalence and ontological incoherence function not as evidence of security’s limits but rather as liberal social order’s very condition of possibility.
VersionFinal accepted manuscript