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 6: Civic Culture and the Politics of Community
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 ...