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Architecture refers both to those parts of the built environment that are designed by architects and the collective designation of the profession. This basic definition is complicated by a number of factors, not least of which is the fact that the types of buildings that can “properly” be considered architecture is of significant controversy and struggle, as is the right of designers to be recognized as architects. These significant questions are assessed in this entry against the backdrop of architecture's complex and contingent social production. Indeed, it is architecture's social foundation—rather than its existence either an object or as a formal practice—that leads social scientists to seek to reveal the many “external” social constraints that impinge on architectural production. Arguably urban studies scholars are uniquely ...

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