Masters of the street


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April 2022


Scientific Research

Masters of the street

Cities underwent a radical transformation from the 19th century onwards. Industrialisation, rural exodus and democratisation had a profound impact on relations between city dwellers and their sense of local identity. Through street protests, riots and violence, groups tried to push through their response to these developments. 

Martin Schoups examined these protest actions in the city of Antwerp between 1884 and 1936. He identifies three fault lines that formed the basis of the collective actions: the divergent world views of liberals and catholics, the erosion of the privileges of urban workers in the economic field and the attempts of the bourgeoisie to impose its values and norms on the proletariat. The research is partly based on contextual data about the socio-economic relations from LOKSTAT.

The described research was carried out as part of the doctoral dissertation that Martin Schoups will defend on 23 May at the Department of History of UGent.


Martin Schoups. Meesters van de straat: collectieve actie en de strijd om de publieke ruimte: Antwerpen (1884-1936) [Masters of the street: collective action and the struggle for public space: Antwerp]. Ghent, 2022, 408 p.