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Chapter 6: Civic Culture and the Politics of Community
For students of urban life, no questions matter more than these: What is a “community” and do urban-dwelling Americans have any?
Questions about communities—what they are, how they work, and whether or not they work well—have been a central focus for sociology since its earliest days. But long before we social scientists asked these questions, generations of social philosophers, religious and popular writers, business leaders and politicians, and would-be city builders wondered aloud and often with grave reservation about the social foundations of the new urban world they were making. For a number of reasons that will be outlined below, Americans have worried a great deal about these questions as they relate ...