Providing a thorough and comprehensive survey of the contemporary urban world that is accessible to students, Urban People and Places: The Sociology of Cities, Suburbs, and Towns will give balanced treatment to both the process by which cities are built (i.e., urbanization) and the ways of life practiced by people that live and work in more urban places (i.e., urbanism) unlike most core texts in this area. Whereas most texts focus on the socio-economic causes of urbanization, this text analyses the cultural component: how the physical construction of places is, in part, a product of cultural beliefs, ideas, and practices and also how the culture of those who live, work, and play in various places is shaped, structured, and controlled by the built environment. Inasmuch as the primary focus will be on the United States, global discussion is composed with an eye toward showing how U.S. cities, suburbs, and towns are different and alike from their counterparts in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America
Chapter 1: Urbanization in Western Societies
Urbanization in Western Societies
There are two basic ways to tell the story of urban places and people. The first is to compare the several historical stages through which cities in Western (and more developed) societies appear to have moved. This is generally referred to as an evolutionary approach. People who talk about the evolution of cities try to identify some key features about these places or the people who live there and trace the way they changed over a long period of time. It is the perspective we will be using in the present chapter. The second way is to compare cities in more economically developed societies to cities in societies with less developed economies, something we do in the ...