Subway civility

Despite the transformations of New York City over the last 20 years, there are still certain places where this multiculturality continues to reign; where classes are apparently leveled, or at least where individuals still recognize each other as members of an imagined community of “New Yorkers” (Anderson 1983). Among these urban spaces of multiculturality are subway stations across New York City and subway trains, where all New Yorkers converge for daily transportation and commuting. In the NYC subway system people of all classes, ethnicities and social backgrounds acquire the possibility of seeing and recognizing each other as New Yorkers, even if they do not engage directly with one another. Subways trains and stations become sites of “civility” (Ikegami 2005), social spaces where people canacknowledge each other as equals.