This paper argues that the power of place comes from its ability to link the social, phenomenal, and symbolic dimensions of experience. In order to illustrate this contention, I trace how the houses of the people became nodal points of a subculture that challenged the social and political domination of traditional elites in Europe. The houses of the people were radical community centers that brought together heterogeneous workers' initiatives like cooperatives, newspapers, political clubs, and libraries around a central café/bar/meeting hall. Foucault's concept of the heterotopia provides a theoretical framework for approaching such spaces.
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