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flaneur’s flanerie: the art of getting lost

flanerie: the art if getting lost

The notion of flâneur – employed since the late 19th century to designate poets and intellectuals that critically observed people’s behavior while strolling among the crowd, and codified in the Walter Benjamin’s influential work on the Passages of Paris – is once again of central interest (in sociology, philosophy, architecture, literature, and cinema) as a tool for identifying a specific mode of travel and exploration of places, a particular type of reflective relationship with people and spaces.

Anthony Giddens, Zygmunt Bauman, Mike Featherstone, Keith Tester, Ash Amin and Nigel Thrift are only some of the contemporary thinkers who, from startlingly different vantage points, have addressed the topic of flâneurs…..to define the main characteristics of the flâneur/flâneuse (as artists or writers vagabonding and describing the urban life) in the past as well in the contemporary societies and to investigate his/her potential role …….

Today, the post-modern crisis of scientific rationality, ideology and metanarratives makes stories increasingly important in order to properly interpret society, reinforcing the links between sociology and the narrative approach…..flânerie for interpreting the urban life in the metropolitan area …..
(apologies to Nuvolati, Giampaolo
Dept. of Sociology and Social Research, University of Milan Bicocca Italy)

le flaneur


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