World system and urban survival squatting in the 21st century: A study of informal housing in four developing countries



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This study had two main purposes. The first was to examine the impact of “world system” position on the persistence of urban squatting in the cities of developing countries for the period between 2000-2020. I examined data from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, International Labor Organization (ILO), the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat), Land Matrix, and Prindex. Using a comparative-historical analysis (Lange 2012), this dissertation examined patterns of uneven development and persistence of urban squatting in Brazil (Rio de Janeiro), India (Mumbai), Nigeria (Lagos), and Indonesia (Jakarta). The results provide an extensive list of causal narratives including the newest available data explaining how uneven development and other factors contributes to the phenomenon of urban squatting in Brazil, India, Nigeria, and Indonesia. The second purpose was to utilize a content analysis (Krippendorff 2013) to discover how culture, uneven development, and the “tourist gaze” (Urry 1990) shape the way informal settlements and squats are framed within the slum tourism community in countries located in the Global South from a symbolic interactionist perspective (Blumer 1969). The recruitment and testimonial literature from online tourist review websites were examined to discover what kind of framing and narratives are used to promote poverty tourism. This yielded new insights related to the “tourist gaze “(Urry 1990) and lent some salience to the phenomenon of “global recreational colonialism” in the 21st century (Lessenich 2019:98) and how the “tourist gaze” (Urry 1990) functions among slum tourists.



World system, Informal housing