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Socio-technical Systems, Public Space and Urban Fragmentation: The Case of ‘Cybercafés’ in China


  • Gilles Puel
  • Valérie Fernandez


The geography of Internet access places is constructed by the interaction of the stakeholders, not only by the negotiation of local regulatory policies but also by the uses of these technologies. It differentiates urban space, contributes to urban fragmentation and the fragmentation into archipelagos of social groups, in a relationship which is not one-to-one. The new socio-technical practices of the city in interaction with infrastructures linked to mobility and accessibility produce urban forms which intensify social fragmentation. This work is based on field surveys conducted in China combining face-to-face questionnaires and in-depth interviews with operators (of cybercafés, local managers, etc.) and their users.

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  • Gilles Puel & Valérie Fernandez, 2012. "Socio-technical Systems, Public Space and Urban Fragmentation: The Case of ‘Cybercafés’ in China," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 49(6), pages 1297-1313, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:urbstu:v:49:y:2012:i:6:p:1297-1313

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    1. Burkhauser, Richard V & Smeeding, Timothy M & Merz, Joachim, 1996. "Relative Inequality and Poverty in Germany and the United States Using Alternative Equivalence Scales," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 42(4), pages 381-400, December.
    2. Statistics Canada, 1998. "New Views on Inequality Trends in Canada and the United States," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1998124e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    3. Richard D. Alba & John R. Logan, 1992. "Analyzing Locational Attainments," Sociological Methods & Research, , vol. 20(3), pages 367-397, February.
    4. Hatfield, M., 1997. "Concentrations of Poverty and Distressed Neighbourhoods in Canada," Papers w-97-1e, Gouvernement du Canada - Human Resources Development.
    5. Lerman, Robert I & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1985. "Income Inequality Effects by Income," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(1), pages 151-156, February.
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