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Paper Topic:

the world of cities

p Sociology and the City

The World of Cities by Anthony M . Orum Xiangming Chen , is a book that delves into the exploration of urban sociology . According to Wikepedia .com , urban sociology is , the HYPERLINK "http /en .wikipedia .org /wiki /Sociology " \o "Sociology " sociological study of the various HYPERLINK "http /en .wikipedia .org /wiki /Statistics " \o "Statistics " statistics among the population in cities ' Some of the various areas of study are population , geopolitics , and economics

According to Wikepedia , the Chicago school was a large influence in the study of urban

sociology . Though some of their ideas have been rejected they are still respected among those who study the subject

In the book , The World of Cities , the authors write that there is something that must be understood before one can understand urban sociology . In to provide an absolutely firm foundation to our discussion of cities , and of urban sociology , we must have a full and complete appreciation of the notion of place (p .5

According to the authors , place can be examined by taking one of two paths . The first path is the modern scientific path that provides information of why place is necessary for human beings or any living creature for that matter . The other path is to examine and understand place through the eyes of old philosophers and scholars

The philosopher whom we focus on first is Edward Casey . Casey believes that place is as essential to human existence as are space and time . In his book , The Fate of Place , Casey writes The world you and I actually live in , our lifeworld , is one of "places (e .g , our personal , sacred or favorite haunts , not the absolute or infinite "space " portrayed in modern science . But you 'd never guess this from the quantitative measurement dominating Western thought about space , whether in philosophy and physics or in down-to- earth disciplines like architecture and urban planning ' He goes on to say that place is only limited by what one can accomplish in that place . Just as a place is animated by the lived bodies that are in it , a lived place animates these same bodies as they become implaced there (242 , The Fate of Place

The next thing Casey tells us we need to grabble ' with is the notion of body . According to the book , body has an extension as in the writings of Martin Heidegger . We are aware of body . We know the difference between front and back and we are aware of the right hand and the left hand . of these are interchangeable . They all have a function and a place

Since body has movement and can more left to right and front and back it has extension and movement . That means that it has to also occupy space . If it occupies space , then that also means that it must have a place . To be at all--to exist in any way--is to be somewhere , and to be somewhere is to be in some kind of place . Place is as requisite as the air we breathe , the ground on which we stand , the bodies we have . We are surrounded by places . We walk over them and through them . We live in places , relate to others in them , die in them (ix , The Fate of Place

One book that The World of Cities mentions that will help one understand urban sociology is The Conditions of the Working Class In England , by Frederick Engels . The book , written in 1645 , explores the many aspects of a city . The agriculture , the industry , and immigration are a few . He looks at these aspects through the eyes of the ordinary working class man . They are given damp dwellings , cellar dens that are not waterproof from below or garrets that leak from above . Their houses are so built that the clammy air cannot escape . They are supplied bad tattered , or rotten clothing , adulterated and indigestible food . They are exposed to the most exciting changes of mental condition , the most violent vibrations between hope and fear they are hunted like game , and not permitted to attain peace of mind and quiet enjoyment of life

The book argues that though place is necessary for humans , humans are necessary to make that place livable for every social class

One philosopher that one must acknowledge is Karl Marx . The great nineteenth-century social theorist focused on how social classes began and how they contributed to history . It was in his focus of history that time took more importance than space or place . Capitalism , as it were is more affected in time , not place or space . Many concede that perhaps Marx did not focus on place because he did not understand it and thought it best to leave place up to the likes of Engel

We must also study the city as a place . One large impact on the shaping of a city is the government in such a place . The government 's influence can shape different areas in the place . The people who dwell in the place also shape the place . Such as the diaphragm in the book that breaks Chicago up by residential zone , commuting zone , transition zone etc .Economic and political institutions hold lands at the center of the city , because to them , their institutions were the center of the city

The second chapter of the book looks over the social theory and the city . To understand it , we must look at human ecology

p First , one must look at human ecology . One influential sociologist was Robert Park

Park , who was important for the first sociological department in the United States at Chicago University , was trained in Germany . He was influenced by several ecologists , such as Georg Simmel

During his study of ecology , he chose to use Chicago as his example Park and his team developed what came to be known as the sociology of the city by creating a catalog of studies of the city . Studies included how space was being used in the city as well as to study the types and number of people that were coming . Park 's program consisted of ideas that he has brought with him from his studies in Europe

According to URBAN STRUCTURE The Social and Spatial Character of Cities by Ralph Thomlinson , Students of urban ecology have long since passed the point of uncritical belief in presumed facts they impose rigorous standards before accepting data . Thorough training of ecological and other sociological researchers requires years of graduate study and work experience

For this reason , the intent of this chapter is not to instruct the reader in how to do research but to acquaint him with the kinds of methodological and statistical operations common in ecological analysis (p . 20 , URBAN STRUCTURE The Social and Spatial Character of Cities

Through Park and his program , he developed what he thought was new population groups and a new environment . He saw that his new population groups adapted to their new environment . His view became what is called a paradigm . It became bigger and was applicable to many more states of place other than Chicago . It drew a connection between living things and place and how they adjust or how the place adjusts to living things

Park 's paradigm eventually became known as Human Ecology . It saw the unfolding and development of urban life as parallel in many ways to the unfolding and development of life , in general (p . 29 , The World of Cities . Competition and succession of human beings in their environment is like that of plants and animals adapting to their own environments Some humans adapt better to some environments than others , as well

Chapter three of the book is about social inequalities and the creation of metropolitan space

First , we look at social inequalities and how they are created Inequalities are in every city and begin by the creation of status or differences . Social movements based on politicized `personal differences - for example ethnic , national , gender , sexual , class and age differences - ranging from the local to a transnational and even global scale , asking for social rights and new forms of citizenship combating inequalities that are experienced as unjust ' writes Mobility , Culture , and Social Inequality , a study given by Amsterdam School for Social science Research

In the city of Chicago , where the study of urban sociology began , there are those who live in the upper class areas of the city . They do not have to worry about making rent payment or not . They do not have to worry about getting to or from a place by public transportation . They usually have a car and have a great home or the nicest apartment . They probably went to a great college and graduated at the top to snatch that top job

On the other side of town live those who struggle just to make it . They do not know where their next meal is coming from . They are not thinking about lunch in the same day , they are wondering how they are just going to get dinner the next day . No lunch is a given . They maybe did not finish high school and did not even dream of college . Their job is very low income with maybe no benefits at all , other than the small amount of money they earn . They do not have a shot at getting that big job the upper class get . Their kids may not even get that same shot

It is not because the upper class are better people or that the lower class are less human . It is that situation made them live different lives

Social inequality begins when upper class and lower class alike forget that whatever class they are in , they could have easily been in the opposite if they had come from a different situation

The second part of the chapter is the creation of metropolitan space The metropolitan space , which many historians say was created to lessen the social inequality by having many types of people living in the same space as each other . The New City ' as the early metropolis was called , blended people with different races , ideas , and cultures all within a certain amount of space

Chapter four in the book is about place change and continuity . In this aspect , we can go back to adaptation . When immigrants come to the city they adapt to the city and change is made . This helps continue the flow of the city . The city does not adapt to them , no matter what city we are discussing . Change is made to a city when it needs to be . The deciding factor of when change needs to take place is if what is currently being used working or not

In the book , Being Urban , by David A . Karp . When he addresses whether or not change is necessary in the city , he uses an example of children playing in the streets and the threat of them being hit by cars . This was a problem , obviously , because the number of children being injured while playing in the streets was growing . This was a problem and change obviously needed to be made . The city decided that it needed a nice updated playground that would attract the children . It would encourage the children to play on it 's equipment instead of in the street . When the change was made , the rate of children playing in the street went down . The change worked

The last chapter studies a critical sociology and a reconstructive sociology of the city . The chapter explores the efforts of the metropolitan leaders in improving the metro area and maintain the civic culture ' of the city

A great example of this is New York City , September 11 , 2001 after the terrorist attack . Mayor Rudolph Giuliani had a lot on his hands to reconstruct the area and to rebuild the moral of the people . A plan had to be made to rebuild or not rebuild and how to make the people feel safe again . He had to make sure that the culture of the city - the accepting all men , not asking questions , not pointing fingers - did not change . The no-culture of the civic culture they had worked for them And he did not want anyone to be singled out and mistreated because of what a few crazy people did

It was a hard job and the even the mayor was put under a microscope just as the president was . There are many qualities that make a great leader . But having strong beliefs , being able to stick with them through popular and unpopular times , is the most important characteristic of a great leader ' the mayor once said to reporters

Having a strong or weak leader can make or break the space in which a city resides . Everything in a city in most cases , revolve around the leader . Whether it is a fair evaluation or not , the question of success of a city , can depend on the leader

The book itself has been very insightful . It is written to help students have a better understanding of sociology as it applies to a city . Though some of the terms were unfamiliar , the glossary that was provided in the back of the book helped clear up any confusion that may have occurred

The authors , who have obviously spent a great deal of time on their research for the book , made their time well worth it . The book not only provides a vast array of information , but also graphics that help back up the point that is being made , which make understanding the content simpler for those who might not quite grasp it all

The concept of sociology in a city is one that completely makes sense I think that city leaders should be required to read this book or books like it to understand what their city might be about and what their city might need from them . It covers every issue , it seems

A best way to sum up the book in one quote would be with the quote of the great poet , Walt Whitman . A great city is that which has the greatest men and women

Works Cited

Casey , Edward . The Fate of Place . 1997 . 495

Engles , Frederick . The Conditions of the Working Class in England Panther Edition ed . Leipzig , 1845

Karp , David A , Gregory

. Stone , and William C . Knoels . Being Urban 2nd Edition ed . Westport : Praeger , 1991

Theobald , Paul . The Nature of Cities :Origin , Growth , and Decline Pattern and Form , Planning Problems . Chicago :

. Theobald , 1955 . 192

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