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On the pedagogical functions of the city: a morphology of adolescence in Athens, 1967 – 1973

John Peponis


This essay looks at the city as a space of affective, cognitive and social exploration that supports the formation of self during adolescence. The first part reconstructs memories of a particular morphology of growing up in Athens, Greece. Here, the use of the word ‘morphology’ refers to the spaces, movements and perceptions of the city that are inexorably linked with the evolution of intentional actions, habitual behaviors, and social interactions. This morphology is subsequently analyzed according to the geography, social principles and social networks involved. The final part of the essay proposes a definition of the pedagogical functions of the city. It is argued that the spatial morphology of the city supports the development of the cognitive and affective codes that underpin the open-ended exploration of environment as part of the process of identity development.


urban culture; pedagogy; search; social networks

Full Text: JOSS_7_2017_P219-251