Philosophical assumptions about identity, being and belonging have, as is well know, historically been bound together; their classical nexus being Plato’s Socrates, who because of this figures as the first philosopher of the city. Especially during moments of crisis, the impulse, both philosophically and politically, even today, is to make abject those who appear not to conform to the appropriate ideal identity of what ought to be. In the first part of our paper we consider the philosophical logic of this pedagogy of the city and its cultural context and implications; and in the second part, we demonstrate this pedagogy of the city as a practice, using ethnographic data derived from a study of a homeless couple and their struggle to become a family amidst the homeless community within which they live.
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