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Urban Problems Michael Itagaki Sociology 102, Social Problems.

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Presentation on theme: "Urban Problems Michael Itagaki Sociology 102, Social Problems."— Presentation transcript:

1 Urban Problems Michael Itagaki Sociology 102, Social Problems

2 The Sociological Perspective The Global Urban movement  200 years ago, 3% lived in towns of 5,000 or more  Today, half live in cities  In 1800, 6% of Americans lived in towns 2,500 or more  Today, 4 of 5 Americans live in cities

3 Figure 12.1 (p. 390) U.S. Population, Rural and Urban Source: By the author, based on U.S. Bureau of the Census; Statistical Abstract of the United States 2003: Table 30. The projections from 200 to 2110 are by the author.

4 The Sociological Perspective Evolution of Cities  Agriculture  City: Large number of people who live in one place and don’t produce their own food  Development of plow, led to agricultural surplus  Industrial revolution of 1700s and 1800s sparked an urban revolution

5 The Sociological Perspective Cities as Solutions  Transcend limitations of farm/village  Better access to work, education Cities as Problems  Difficult for people to find community  Some find community in the city, others find alienation, isolation, fear

6 Scope of the Problem Antiurban Bias What is Urban about Urban Problems?  City life increases social problems  Urban crisis  Urban sprawl

7 Symbolic Interaction Whyte’s Study: Street Corner Society (1943)  College Boys, Corner Boys, Subcultures Suttles’ study  Race/ethnicity differences Anderson’s study  Regulars, wineheads, hoodlums  Code of the Street

8 Symbolic Interaction Gentrification  Process where affluent displace poor  “Improvements” to properties  Increase in property value  Poor can no longer afford to live there

9 Functionalism Burgess (1925) theory of concentric zones  Five zones

10 Figure 12.4 (p. 397) Burgess' Concentric Zone Theory of the Growth of the City Source: From Ernest W. Burgess. "The Growth of the City: An Introduction to a Research Project" in The City. Robert E. Park, Ernest W. Burgess, and Roderick D. McKenzie, eds. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, (Pages in the 1967 edition). Reprinted with the permission of the University of Chicago Press.

11 Functionalism Burgess (1925) theory of concentric zones  Five zones Mobility  Commute to work, school, recreation  Move to live in better zones  Invasion-Succession cycle  Displacement vs. feeling unwelcome

12 Functionalism Burgess (1925) theory of concentric zones  Five zones Mobility Zone Transition and social problems  Zone II, city’s poverty is concentrated  Regeneration (urban renewal)

13 Conflict Theory Class conflict: Objectives of the wealthy vs. the poor  City used to be only center of industry  Advent of the highways  Manufacture products in outlying areas  Moving jobs away from city  Paradoxical paradigm downtown

14 Bowling Alone Discussion: Read edited press release for Putnam’s book  Are we becoming less social and more individualistic?  Why do you think so?  Cite some examples you observe to support your argument

15 Table 12.2 (p. 413) The Fastest-Growing and Shrinking U.S. Cities

16 Table 12.3 (p. 414) Population Change of U.S. Regions


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