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Poverty, the State and Politics in the City: Critical Reflections on Asia

Rescaling Urban Poverty: Homelessness, State Restructuring and City Politics in Japan

Symposium keynote by Mahito Hayashi (Kinjo Gakuin University, Japan)

Hayashi argues that urban class relations today make the city into a breeding ground for oppressive “rescaling” politics vis-à-vis homelessness, especially where public spaces pit homeless people against the housing classes, activate anti-homeless local societies, and hasten the formation of new regulatory spaces. In this context, cities reduce the capacity to integrate the impoverished margins of society, as regulators relegate deprived people from the public/private matrix of urbanization and society is besieged by homeless–housed divides. Nonetheless, Hayashi reveals that homeless people still try to survive within the spaces of regulation by opening new metabolic circuits of use-value production in public spaces. Based on the Japanese case, he also argues that historical niches of poverty (often referred to as “inner city” areas) have amassed ideas and actions for homeless people, allowing activists to insert “pro-homeless” emancipatory politics in the normative spaces of urbanization.

Mahito Hayashi is on the faculty of Kinjo Gakuin University, Japan, and has published in many scholarly journals, including Critical Sociology and Antipode. His book, Rescaling Urban Poverty: Homelessness, State Restructuring and City Politics in Japan, will be published by Wiley in late 2023 as part of the Royal Geographical Society’s Book Series.

Invited Discussants:

Alfredo Saad-Filho, King’s College London

Ken Kawashima, University of Toronto

Greg Albo, York University

Hyun Ok Park, York University

Remarks: Philip Kelly, Associate Dean for Research, Graduate and Global Affairs, Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change

Chaired by: David Fasenfest, Editor of Critical Sociology; Faculty Member at Wayne State University; Adjunct Professor, York University

Organized by David Fasenfest and Raju J Das (EUC).

All are welcome. Refreshments will be provided.

This Marxist Studies in Global and Asian Perspectives’ (MSGAP)* event is made possible thanks to financial support from Critical Sociology (Sage London), VPRI Research and YCAR. Support from the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change (EUC) is also gratefully acknowledged.

Learn more about MSGAP at:


Oct 02 2023


10:00 am - 12:00 pm


Room 519, Fifth Floor, Kaneff Tower
York University Keele Campus


Marxist Studies in Global and Asian Perspectives

Other Organizers

Office of the Vice President Research and Innovation
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