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A streetcorner or street corner is the location which lies adjacent to an intersection of two roads. Such locations are important in terms of local planning and commerce, usually being the locations of street signs and lamp posts, as well as being a prime spot to locate a business due to visibility and accessibility from traffic going along either of the adjacent streets. One source suggests that this is so for a facility combining two purposes, like an automotive showroom that provides repair services as well: "For all these types of buildings, property on a street corner is most desirable as separate entrances are most easily provided for."[1]

Due to this visibility, street-corners are the choice location for activities ranging from panhandling[2] to prostitution[3] to protests[4] to petition signature drives, hence the term "street-corner politics".[5] This makes street-corners a good location to observe human activity, for purposes of learning what environmental structures best fit that activity.[6] Sidewalks at street corners tend to be rounded, rather than coming to a point, for ease of traffic making turns at the intersection.


This is an image of an urban street-corner in Camden, New Jersey.
A street-corner in Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Poland

A street corner can serve as a social meeting place. Street corner life is normally founded in low-income areas all around the world in urbanized structures.[7] According to Jane Jacobs, the street-corner is an urban ecosystem that serves a structural function [1] The city/street corners are a breathing system of different webs of structures that forms a whole which makes up the poor, gangs, drug dealers and users. The street-corner is an, ideology or urban slang from the term "Ghetto."[8]


Life of the people in Mumbai

Regarding sex, work, and solicitation on the street corners of Mumbai, sex is a form of labor for some of the women of the urban streets of Mumbai. Prostitution has given the women of Mumbai a way to make money due to the displacement and the development of this cosmopolitan city.[9]

Street Corner Society[edit]

"Street Corner Society" is William Foote Whyte's account of street corners in Boston, Massachusetts. This portrayal of Italian American slums and street gangs holds the readers' attention with a colorful bird's eye view on the social structure of these "corner Boys" lives in Street Corner Society[10]

The Street-Corner Black men[edit]

Elliot Liebow studies the African-American male behavior in reference to his poverty level in a compelling book called "Tally's Corner". This book gives a sociological study of the black male. Elliot Liebow was the first to study the street corner in this magnitude. "Tally's Corner" is the first book published of it kind. This book was ground breaking and its information is still being studied today.[11]

On the Road[edit]

"On The Road" is an anthropological narrative that gives the reader a colorful snapshot of the American culture street corners. Jack Kerouac shares his personal account of this sociological journey. This book expresses that travel of any form would be assumed to be for the elite. Jack Kerouac said that road travel would give one a "chronotope"of the street corner"[12]


  1. ^ Eugene Clute, Russell Fenimore Whitehead, Kenneth Reid, Progressive Architecture, Volume 3, page 4, 1922.
  2. ^ David Levinson, Encyclopedia of Homelessness, Volume 2, page 436, 2004.
  3. ^ Elizabeth Pisani, The Wisdom of Whores: Bureaucrats, Brothels, and the Business of AIDS, page 52, 2008.
  4. ^ Ira Katznelson, City Trenches: Urban Politics and the Patterning of Class in the United States, page 84, 1981.
  5. ^ Peter H. Argersinger, Representation and Inequality in Late Nineteenth-Century America: The Politics of Apportionment, page 55, 2012.
  6. ^ Jon Lang, Urban Design: The American Experience, page 310, 1994.
  7. ^ Kapsis, Robert E. (1979). Black Street Corner. Queens College of the city university of New York: Social Facts. pp. 1212–1228.
  8. ^ Elsheshtawy, Yasset (2013). "Where the sidewalk ends: Informal Street corner encounter in Dubai". citites.
  9. ^ Shah, Svati Pragna (2012). street corner secrets: sex,work and migration in the city of Mumbai. Durham: Duke University Press. ISBN 0822356899.
  10. ^ Foot Whyte, William (1993). Street corner Society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0226895440.
  11. ^ Liebow, Elliot (1967). Tally's Corner. boston: Little Brown. p. 260.
  12. ^ Chittenden, Tara (2014). A Fold in the Road: Kerouac and the temporal- spatial construction street corner as place in the road. Journey.