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Urban interventionism as a challenge to aesthetic order: Towards an aesthetic criminology

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This article is concerned with ideas of urban order and considers the scope for playing with people's expectations of order. In particular, drawing on criminological, philosophical and urban studies literatures, the article explores the notion of aesthetic order. The power to dictate aesthetic order is highlighted. The example of urban interventionism is used to consider those that challenge an approved aesthetic order. Here the article draws on cultural criminology and visual criminology, with illustrations coming from research in Toronto, Canada. Influenced by Alison Young's (2014a) conceptualisation of 'cities within the city', the article considers how different people using the same space have different or overlapping ways of understanding aesthetic order. Of relevance to criminology, it is contended that people or things that contravene an approved aesthetic order may face banishment and criminalisation. It is concluded that respect for such difference is required. An aesthetic criminology is suggested.




Millie, A. (2017). Urban interventionism as a challenge to aesthetic order: Towards an aesthetic criminology. Crime, Media, Culture, 13(1), 3–20.

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