'Suzi Hall breathes new life into discussions of multiculturalism, citizenship and identity. These commonly focus on nation-states, but in this lucid, engaging ethnography she shows how local practices and their contexts shape a sense of belonging and nearness that facilitates relations across lines of difference.'
-Craig Calhoun, President of the Social Science Research Council
'Here is the story of a street in south London, a working-class part of the city. Suzanne Hall explores its street-life as a kind of theatre; she shows how sociability develops as bodily gestures, clothes, and speech become performing practices. The evocative ethnography is meant to prompt readers to think about how streets in other cities, other settings, might be designed to become vivid spaces. In sum, this is an impressive and moving book.'
-Richard Sennett, University Professor of the Social Sciences at New York University
'With the precision of an architect's eye and the attentiveness of an ethnographer's ear Suzanne Hall offers us a profound and urgently needed account of the multicultural life in Britain. This book should be read widely by anyone who has a serious interest in the future of city life.'
-Les Back, Professor of Sociology, Goldsmiths
'This work stands as a crucial piece in a larger puzzle of visualizing the dynamics of urban multi-cultures and their manifestation in the ordinary London streetscape. As Hall rightly proclaims, the implications of such research can operate on various registers of policy and planning, helping to critique the politics of secular nationalism and the multiple, unfounded assumptions on which it is based.
Spurred by Stuart Hall’s...prediction that "the capacity to live with difference is, in my view, the coming question of the twenty-first century," this research on a multi-ethnic street in London grasps the lived realities and consequences of rapid urban change.'
-Andrew Wade in Polis, www.thepolisblog.org, posted 12 June 2012
'South-east London, by virtue of its poverty, ‘otherness’, and ordinariness has long been a source for the sociological imagination, and this has been manifest in both academic texts and wider culture. Hall’s book makes an important, rigorously researched, and thoughtfully structured contribution.'
'Hall’s book embodies a creative intersection between architecture and ethnography at its heart....Certainly, readers of City, Street and Citizen will be convinced of the potential of such an ethnographic-architectural approach, which grounds architecture itself in the everyday, and is insightful and evocative in its presentation of urban multiculturalism from the bottom up.'
-Ben Campkin, University College London, in the LSE Review of Books, posted 16 Nov 2012
'The central question of this book is what kind of city and citizen does a street make? The street in question is the Walworth Road in south London, an overlooked and socially complex place. This most recent addition to the Routledge Advances in Ethnography series takes up Les Back’s evocation of sociology as a listener’s art (2007) and makes an argument for the importance of qualitative research in capturing the ‘social thickness’ of small places. The book is testament to the value of ethnography in capturing these moments of ‘proximity and crossover’ of the spoken and corporeal and of the capabilities that are built up through encounters between people. It is a fine-grained ethnography attuned to the complexity of the places and people it represents and is complemented by striking drawings — Hall’s background is in architecture — used to visualize global links between places (a map of Walworth road aligned with the world) and to trace the ‘textures of spatial order over time’ (the fluctuating rhythms of the Caff during weekdays). Hall offers a rich and insightful analysis of how one ordinary street might help us to understand the formation of cities and the book will be of interest to urbanists and sociologists alike. Hopefully, it will also reach those who are aiming to intervene in and plan urban spaces, as Hall asks, how can we create multicultural places when we can’t even recognize those that already exist?' Emma Jackson, University of Glasgow, in the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 2013