Telling ' Spatial Stories ' : Urban Space And Bourgeois Identity

1240 Words Apr 14th, 2016 5 Pages
In the article “Telling ‘Spatial Stories’: Urban Space and Bourgeois Identity in Early Nineteenth-Century Paris” (Journal of Modern History, 2003), Victoria E. Thompson explores how the ideologies of the middle class, expressed through literature, had a significant impact on the organization of society, and the physicality of landscape in Paris surrounding the July Revolution of 1830. During this time, social class and landscape were under construction, and as a result, the formation of the new large middle class was in need of an identity and took advantage of their presence and power of the urban landscape to help differentiate themselves among the wealthy and poor.
Spatial stories, fictional narrative accounts of the everyday occurrences between the social classes in specific urban locations, influenced the middle class through the formulation of identity and empowerment; attributed to the class’ interactions with the poor and wealthy, and their distinct use and interactions with space. However, the stories exaggerated certain aspects of reality, evident through the journalist reports published from the July Monarchy, for the creative authors’ “sought to link social practices and spacial organization to social order” (Thompson, 2003, 524) brought on by urban growth and renewal. While the new identification of the bourgeois class was influenced by the spatial stories description of land, the landscape was influenced by the ever growing populace. Thompson begins…

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