Cities are more important as cultural entities than their mere function as dormitories and industrial sites. Yet, the understanding of what makes a city ‘alive’ and appealing in cultural terms is still hotly contested - why are some cities so much more interesting, popular and successful than others? In this engaging discussion in the text City Life, Adrian Franklin takes the reader on a tour of contemporary western cities exploring their historical development and arguing that it is the transformative, ritual and performative qualities of successful cities that makes a difference. Emphasizing the importance of experience, the book represents the fluid complexity of the city as a living space, an environment and a posthumanist space of transformation. It will be of interest to all those engaging with the difficulties of urban life in sociology, human geography, tourism and cultural studies departments.
Chapter 7: City Lifestyle
Urban life is strongly mediated by membership and belonging to long-established forms of culture and sociation: social class, ethnicity, religion, nationality and the historical compositions, conflicts and juxtapositions of these structuring taxonomies all continue to undergird the life of any city anywhere. Any analysis of the city that does not understand how these play out in any one place will therefore be deficient but equally those analyses that rest only on these taxonomic variables will miss a critical point: that while city life in most countries still carries the palimpsest of a producerist/industrial society with its relatively rigid and fixed stratifications and distinctions, and is therefore still a background structuring influence, the contemporary city is also the exemplar of its reversal, undoing ...