The Ghetto, the Hyperghetto and the Fragmentation of the World


Reflecting on Loïc Wacquant’s Urban Outcasts, my observations focus on two points: the ghetto and the hyperghetto. On the one hand, over and above the France–USA comparison, the text suggests that ‘the ghetto’ is a relative urban position, not one that establishes an identity. Within that framework, some French banlieues or Palestinian refugee camps are in a position of urban, social and political relegation that is well conveyed by the term ‘ghetto’ or ‘ghettoization’. On the other hand, if we are agreed that it is distance from the state that constitutes the ghetto, then transference of this notion of relegation to the global scale is a possible definition of ‘the hyperghetto’.