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SO4029 Sociology of the City

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1 SO4029 Sociology of the City
Understanding Urban Development – Key Approaches

2 Urban Theory Urban Theory as a ‘sub-set’ of Social Theory – While in practice the two are intimately connected, there is an assumption amongst urban theorists that life in cities is distinctive Urbanisation & Urbanism All urban theorists deal in some way with the ‘4 Cs’ Culture: Beliefs & Physical Environment Consumption: Consumption and production of all goods and services (private & public) Community: Urban social life - includes the size and distribution of populations; demography and change; how humans beings live and interact in close proximity to one another Conflict: Overt and covert conflict and competition between interest/status groups and classes (Parker, 2004)

3 Perspectives on Cities
Cities and Urbanisation in Broad Historical Perspective: Childe, Sjoberg, Mumford Early Urban Social Reformers: UK-Booth, Mayhew, Rowntree, (‘political arithmetic’), USA - Adams, Riis Modernity & Political Economy: Weber*, Durkheim, Marx & Engels*, Veblen, Benjamin, Tönnies, Simmel* Weber – only one of the big three to produce a work specifically focusing on city life.

4 Urban Sociology Early 20th Century, The Ecological Approach: The ‘Chicago School’ of Park, Burgess, Wirth et al. Late 1960’s onwards New Urban Sociology: Urban Political Economy: Lefebvre, Conflict & Capital Accumulation - Castells, Harvey, Urban ‘Growth Machine’ Logan & Molotch Globalization & World Cities: Sassen, Hall The Socio-Spatial Approach: Gottdiener & Hutchison (See also Contemporary Cultural/Postmodern Approaches: Zukin, Sennett, Bourdieu, Habermas, Foucault, Derrida, Baudrillard, Hannigan)

5 The Chicago School Pioneers in Urban Sociology
Founded in 1893 and by led by WI Thomas and Albion Small (pupil of Max Weber) Home of American Journal of Sociology Cc 1910’s onwards became a highly influential centre for Urban Sociology A Darwinian Model – Human Ecological Approach

6 The Chicago School Key Figures in Urban Sociology at Chicago until 1940’s: Robert Park (‘The City’), Ernest Burgess (Model of Urban Form), Louis Wirth (The Urban Way of Life) Park and Burgess, focused on the way in which the spatial structure of the city emerged from the struggle for space and resources, with capitalism being merely one feature or medium of that struggle. Main methods ethnography and spatial analysis

7 The Chicago School ‘The City’ (1915): (i) The City Plan & Organisation
(ii) Industrial Organisation & Moral Order (iii) Secondary Relations & Social Control (iv) Temperament & Urban Environment Park’s Stages of Urban Development 1) Inter-group competition 2) Domination 3) Succession 4) Invasion

8 The Chicago School EW Burgess’s Model of Urban Growth (1923)

9 The Chicago School Other Key Figures in Urban Studies at Chicago
Louis Wirth – ‘The Urban Way of Life’ Like Simmel, Wirth focused mainly on the psychological, relational and symbolic features of adjusting to urban life Roderick McKenzie – ‘The Metropolitan Community’- the influence of technology and transport in urban development Wirth shared Chicago School’s generally negative view of Urban life and its effects on individuals – Wirth, like Simmel, more concerned with social relations and the impact of city life on individuals – I’ll be addressing this more extensively work in the lectures on the urban way of life.

10 New Urban Sociology Until 1930’s Urban Sociology is barely a sub branch of the discipline Urban focus displaced towards a focus on the ‘problem of order’ (Parsons etc.) Late 1960’s – Social Problems of Ethnic, Class Division, Riots, Social Activism etc. prompt a paradigm shift away from ecological view of urban development. Ecological view seen to be more suited to explaining the development of immigrant cities, but inadequate for exploring current urban problems Revival of Marxist & Weberian perspectives on Urban Life Uneven Development

11 New Urban Sociology Henri Lefebvre
1. City is the product of the economic and political relations of capitalism 2. City affected Industrial/Commercial (primary) and Real Estate (secondary) 3. Space is integral to social organisation and social relations 4. Governance, space and social control

12 New Urban Sociology Manuel Castell’s: ‘Collective Consumption’
David Harvey: Capital Accumulation Theory John Logan & Harvey Molotch: The Urban ‘Growth Machine’

13 Globalization & Global Cities
Saskia Sassen’s Network & Nuclei of Global Cities Peter Hall & ‘World Cities’ (See also- Robertson, Giddens, Beck) Cultural Turn, Poststructuralist and Postmodernist Approaches

14 The Socio-Spatial Approach Mark Gottdiener
1) Standard categories of political economic analysis can be applied to urban development 2) Real estate development can follow a different economic cycle from industrial. 3) Physical space is integral to all social activities – i.e. relations affect space and space shapes relations. 4) Spaces are symbolic as well as physical – they have meaning that both affects the way in which we think about them and which can also be contested. 5) Urban spaces are shaped by powerful political (local, regional and central government) and key economic actors (big business- at the local and global level) 4- see Firey 1945 See Firey 1945

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