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Experiencing Cities, 2nd Edition

By Mark Hutter

Published by Pearson

Published Date: Feb 15, 2011

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For undergraduate and graduate courses in urban sociology.


A social psychological perspective informed by political economy encourages sociological understanding of the city and suburb in the past and in the contemporary world.


Experiencing Cities is an introduction to urban sociology based heavily on microsociology and symbolic interaction theory—emphasizing the way people experience the urban world in their everyday lives, interact with one another, and create meaning from the physical and human environments of their cities.



Table of Contents








Chapter 1:   Introduction to Experiencing Cities  

Chapter 2:   The Emergence of Cities    

Chapter 3:   The Industrial Revolution and the Rise of Urban Sociology    

Chapter 4:   Chicago School: Urbanism and Urban Ecology   

Chapter 5:   Urban Planning    

Chapter 6:   Urban Political Economy, The New Urban Sociology, and The Power of Place    

Chapter 7:   The City as a Work of Art    

Chapter 8:   The Skyscraper as Icon   

Chapter 9:   Experiencing Strangers and the Quest for Public Order   

Chapter 10: “Seeing” Disorder and the Ecology of Fear    

Chapter 11: Urban Enclaves and Ghettos: Social Policies    

Chapter 12: Gender in the City    

Chapter 13: City Families and Kinship Patterns    

Chapter 14: Downtown Stores: Shopping as Community Activity    

Chapter 15: Baseball and Basketball as Urban Drama    

Chapter 16: The Suburbanization of America  

Chapter 17: Social Capital and Healthy Places    

Chapter 18: Experiencing World Cities    








Part One · Historical Developments  


1    Introduction to Experiencing Cities  

      The Urban World  

        Civilization and Cities   

        Microlevel Sociology and Macrolevel Sociology and Experiencing Cities    

        Symbolic Interactionism and the Study of City Life    

        W. I. Thomas: The Definition of the Situation    

        Robert E. Park: The City as a State of Mind    

        Anselm L. Strauss: Images of the City    

        Lyn Lofland: The World of Strangers and the Public Realm    

        Experiencing Cities through Symbolic Interactionism    

        Growing Up in the City: A Personal Odyssey    


2    The Emergence of Cities    

      The Origin of Cities    

        The Agricultural Revolution   

        The Urban Revolution    

        Sumerian Cities    

        Trade Theory and the Origin of Cities    

        Social and Cultural Factors and the Emergence, Development, and Decline of Early Cities   

        Religion in Early Cities    


3    The Industrial Revolution and the Rise of Urban Sociology    

       The Industrial Revolution and Nineteenth-Century European Cities    

        Manchester: The Shock City of the Mid-Nineteenth Century    

        The Ideal Type: Community and Interpersonal Relationships  

        The Ideal Type: Rural and City Life    

            Henry Sumner Maine and Ferdinand Tönnies    

            Emile Durkheim    

            Max Weber    

        Simmel: Metropolis and Mental Life   


Part Two · Disciplinary Perspectives    


4    Chicago School: Urbanism and Urban Ecology   

        Chicago: The Shock City of the Early Twentieth Century   

        The Chicago School and Social Disorganization    

        Robert E. Park: Urbanism    

        The Chicago School and Urbanism    

        Louis Wirth: Urbanism as a Way of Life    

        Gans: Urbanism and Suburbanism as Ways of Life   

        Claude Fischer’s Subcultural Theory    

        The Chicago School and Urban Ecology    

        Ernest Burgess and the Concentric Zone Hypothesis    

        Modifications of the Concentric Zone Hypothesis: Hoyt’s Sector Model, Harris and Ullman’s Multiple Nuclei Model, and 

             Shevky and Bell’s Social Area Analysis    

        Walter Firey: Sentiment and Symbolism as Ecological Variables    

        Symbolic Interactionism and City Life: Summary Statement   


5    Urban Planning    

        Burnham and the City Beautiful    

        Ebenezer Howard: The Garden City Movement    

        Radburn, New Jersey, and the Greenbelt Town of the 1930s    

        The Three Magnets Revisited    

        Wright’s Broadacre City    

        Le Corbusier: Cities Without Streets    

        Futurama: General Motors and the 1939–40 New York World’s Fair    

        Robert Moses: The Power Broker—New York City and Portland, Oregon    

        Edmund N. Bacon: The Redevelopment of Philadelphia    

        Jane Jacobs: The Death and Life of Great American Cities    



6    Urban Political Economy, The New Urban Sociology, and The Power of Place    

        Urban Political Economy    

        David Harvey’s Baltimore    

        From Chicago to LA: The LA School    

            Edge Cities    


            Culture of Heteropolis    

            City as Theme Park    

            Fortified City    

            Interdictory Spaces    

            Historical Geographies of Restructuring    

            Fordist versus Post-Fordist Regimes of Accumulation and Regulation    


            Politics of Nature    

        The New Urban Sociology: The Growth Machine and the Sociospatial Perspective    

        Sharon Zukin: “Whose Culture? Whose City?”    

        Urban Imagery, Power, and the Symbolic Meaning of Place    

        The Politics of Place and Collective Memory    

        The Power of Place Project: Los Angeles    

        Independence Hall, the National Park Service, and the Reinterpretation of History    


Part Three · City Imagery and the Social Psychology of City Life  


7    The City as a Work of Art    

        Paris and the Impressionists    

        New York City and the Ashcan School    

        Mural Art as Street and Community Art 

        Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program    

        The Murals of Los Angeles    

        The Art Museum as a Community Resource: Detroit Institute of Arts


8    The Skyscraper as Icon   

        New York City    

            The Singer Building    

            The Metropolitan Life Insurance Building    

            The Municipal Office Building    

            The Woolworth Building    


        Hong Kong   

        The Attack on the World Trade Center and the Media Response    

            From Civic Criticism to Sentimental Icon: A Brief History   

            “World Trade Center” by David Lehman    

            The Future: How Do You Reconstruct an Icon?  

            The “Ground Zero” Mosque 


Part Four · The Social Psychology of City Life    


9    Experiencing Strangers and the Quest for Public Order   

       The Private Realm, the Parochial Realm, and the Public Realm

        Strangers and the “Goodness” of the Public Realm

        Cheers: “Where Everybody Knows Your Name”

        Elijah Anderson: The Cosmopolitan Canopy

        Anonymity and the Quest for Social Order

        William H. Whyte: Public Spaces—Rediscovering the Center

        Sharon Zukin: The Battle for Bryant Park

        Elijah Anderson: On Being “Streetwise”

        Flash Mobs


10  “Seeing” Disorder and the Ecology of Fear    

      The Decline of Civility in the Public Realm    

        African Americans and the Exclusion from the Public Realm    

        Wilson and Kelling: Broken Windows    

        Mitchell Duneier: Street People and Broken Windows    

        The Criminalization of Poverty    

        Mike Davis: The Ecology of Fear and the Fortressing of America    

        Surveillance of the Street    

        Sampson and Raudenbush: “Seeing” Disorder and the Social Construction of “Broken Windows”    


Part Five · City People   


11  Urban Enclaves and Ghettos: Social Policies    

        Ghetto and Enclave    

        White Ethnic Enclaves   

        African American Ghettos    

        Assimilation versus Hypersegregation   

        Urban Renewal and Urban Removal    

        Project Living in Public Housing    

        Stuyvesant Town    

        Gentrification and the Quest for Authenticity  

        Hollow City: The Gentrification of San Francisco    



12  Gender in the City    

        Gender and Public Space    

        Etiquette: Governing Gender in the Public Sphere    

        Gender Harassment in the Public Sphere    

        Gays and Lesbians in the City    

        Urban Tribes, Gays, and the Creative Class    

        Nightlife as Frontier

      Jobs Move to Where People Are: Meet Me in St. Louis    


13  City Families and Kinship Patterns    

        The Public World of the Preindustrial Family    

        The Industrial City and the Rise of the Private Family    

        The Rise of the Suburbs, the Cult of Domesticity, and the Private Family    

        The City and the Rediscovery of the Family and Urban Kinship Patterns    

        Urban Kinship Networks and the African American Family    

        Mexican Americans in Urban Barrios    

        The Suburban Working-Class and Middle-Class Family    

        The Dispersal of Kin and Kin-Work    


Part Six · City Places    


14  Downtown Stores: Shopping as Community Activity    

        The Downtown Department Store    

        Neighborhood Stores and Community Identification   

        Suburbia, the Mall, and the Decline of Downtown Shopping   

        Whose Stores? Whose Neighborhood?    

        New Immigrants, the Revitalization of Inner-City Stores, and the Rise of the Consumer City    

        Money Has No Smell: African Street Vendors and International Trade    

        The Gentrification of the U Street Corridor


15  Baseball and Basketball as Urban Drama    

        An Urban Game    

        Boosterism and Civic Pride    

        Spectators and Fan(atic)s    

        Image Building Through Technology and Newspapers    

        The National Pastime    

        A Spectacular Public Drama: Place and Collective Memory    

        Basketball: The New City Game


Part Seven · The Urban World    


16  The Suburbanization of America  

        Nineteenth-Century Garden-Cemeteries and Parks: Precursors of Suburbia    

        Suburbs: The Bourgeois Utopia    

        Race, Suburbs, and City    

        Gated Communities    

        Suburbs and Morality   

        Edge Cities and Urban Sprawl    

        New Urbanism    

        From Front Porch to Backyard to Front Porch: An Assessment   


17  Social Capital and Healthy Places    

        Robert Putnam: Bowling Alone    

        The Internet and Virtual Communities    

        Chicago’s 1995 Heat Wave    

        The Paris Heat Wave    

        Low Ground, High Ground: New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina 2005    

        Postscript: Disaster Tourism, Politics and the Reshaping of New Orleans


18  Experiencing World Cities    

        World Urbanization    

        Modernization Theory and Global Urbanization    

        Development Theory: An Alternative Perspective    

        Cities, the Global Economy, and Inequality    

        World Cities, World Systems Theory, and the Informational Revolution    

        Squatter Settlements    

        Paris: Riots in Suburban Housing Projects