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Chapter 16 Urbanism and Population. Megacities Megacities: Large urban areas encompassing a number of formerly separate towns. An example is Los Angeles,

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 16 Urbanism and Population. Megacities Megacities: Large urban areas encompassing a number of formerly separate towns. An example is Los Angeles,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 16 Urbanism and Population

2 Megacities Megacities: Large urban areas encompassing a number of formerly separate towns. An example is Los Angeles, which comprises not only Los Angeles proper but also nearby suburbs, such as Long Beach.

3 Figure 16.1 Total Population by Metropolitan Status:

4 Figure 16.2 Percentage of Metropolitan Population Living in Central Cities and Suburbs

5 The Postmodern City Distinctive feature: the geographical clustering of like-minded individuals in particular areas (e.g. young singles in the inner-city). For young singles, lacking the support of families close by, the like-minded support groups they join are almost tribal in nature.

6 Neotribalism Defined by Michel Maffesoli Neotribalism: A characteristic form of postmodern social relations, found particularly in urban settings. Based on the root word tribe, neotribalism refers to networks of individuals who share a distinctive lifestyle and cultural affinities.

7 Urbanization Urbanization: The historical and social process by which cities grew and became the center of social life. The most important condition underlying urbanization has been increased agricultural production.

8 Urban Decentralization Urban decentralization: The movement of the middle classes out of inner cities and into the suburbs. As the suburbs created their own facilities, suburban residents felt little need to go into the downtown. Inner cities became synonymous with social problems.

9 Organic Relations Organic relations: Social relations that were characteristic of the modern city. As described by Durkheim, individuals in organic relations performed specialized roles, and their interdependence was based on exchange of specialized services. Less tightly bound than mechanical relations.

10 Mechanical Relations Mechanical relations: Social relations that were characteristic of traditional, premodern social life. According to Durkheim, mechanical relations were based on the like-mindedness of individuals and involved a low degree of specialization of roles.

11 Edge Cities Edge cities: Industrial and commercial centers situated just outside the old downtown. They contrast with suburbs, which are mainly residential developments outside the inner city.

12 Figure 16.3 The Development of Los Angeles County

13 Urban Sprawl Urban sprawl: The process by which smaller cities and the space between them are engulfed into one megacity, where there is not just one city center but several city centers.

14 High-technology Success Richard Florida has argued that the key components of urban growth are “technology, talent, and tolerance.” Florida has found that the leading indicator of high-tech success is a large gay population, followed by high concentrations of artists, writers, musicians, and actors.

15 High-technology Success (cont.) Gay households often have the large spending power of two earners without the expense of children. Creative industries flourish in an open, diverse city culture.

16 Gated Communities Gated communities: Residential areas with restricted access and privatization of public space. Gated communities are a paradox of postmodern society. Why?

17 Three Types of Gated Communities Lifestyle communities Prestige communities Security zone communities

18 Lifestyle communities The expression of conspicuous consumption and a new leisure class. Exemplified by retirement communities, golf communities, and new towns.

19 Prestige communities Reflect the desire for status of the well-to-do and upwardly mobile. Their aim is to distinguish themselves from the surrounding areas (especially if those areas are poorer).

20 Security zone communities Have been described as “enclaves of fear.” Socially constructed and symbolized by walls, gates, closed streets, and various security systems as protection against crime and outsiders.

21 Criticism of Gated Communities By excluding on the basis of class, race, and cultural differences, even as they contribute to high levels of community feeling inside, they may undermine the ideals of civic community and the interconnectedness of neighborhoods.

22 Assimilation Assimilation: The process by which immigrants adopt the values, norms, and behaviors of their new country of residence. Assimilation is another paradox of American life. Why?

23 Deglobalization Deglobalization: The movement away from a society that is pluralistic, diverse, and globalized toward one that shares a common national identity and culture. Deglobalization entails the assimilation of recent immigrant groups.

24 Reglobalization Reglobalization: The process by which an ethnic group reconnects itself to its society of origin and begins to reaffirm its original culture and values.

25 Diaspora Diaspora: A term referring to a people who believe they have common roots but who have been scattered outside their place of origin. In spite of this, they still seek to maintain or create a sense of common identity.

26 Demography Demography: The study of the growth, size, composition, distribution, and movement of the human population. All of those topics are informed by the “cultural turn” in sociology.

27 Figure 16.4 Distribution of the World Population

28 Demographic Trends of the U.S. During the 1990s the U.S. population grew by 13% -- five times the average percentage increase in other more developed countries (MDCs). One reason for this growth is higher rates of immigration to the U.S. and the higher fertility rate of women in the U.S. vs. other MDCs.

29 Figure 16.5 Projected Population of MDCs, LDCs, and Least Developed Countries

30 Study Questions What has been the most important factor underlying the growth of cities over the past seven thousand years? Explain why. One distinguishing feature of the postmodern city is the geographic differentiation of social and cultural groups within the urban center. What distinguishes these clustered groups from the ones in earlier cities? What are some of the social forces behind this phenomenon?

31 Study Questions (cont.) Describe the movement of urban decentralization that occurred in the United States in the mid-twentieth century. What were some of the social forces underlying this movement?

32 Study Questions (cont.) Emile Durkheim differentiated between communities based on “organic” relations and communities based on “mechanical” relations. Is the modern city characterized by organic or mechanical relations? Are city dwellers more or less likely to suffer from anomie than non- city dwellers?

33 Study Questions (cont.) What did urban researcher Richard Florida find to be the leading indicator of high-technology success in major cities? What are the economic and cultural explanations for his findings? Describe the three types of gated communities identified by Edward James Blackely and Mary Gail Snyder. How do the symbols that characterize these communities vary across the three types? What has been the main criticism of gated communities?

34 Study Questions (cont.) Explain the movement from globalization to deglobalization, and from deglobalization to reglobalization, that has been attributed to the immigrant populations of cities like Chicago and New York. How does this three-part model differ from earlier unilinear theories of assimilation? What social changes have allowed “reglobalization” to occur?

35 Study Questions (cont.) In which major respect do the demographic trends of the United States contrast with those of other more developed countries (MDCs)? What are the reasons for this difference?


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