Urban Structure: The Social and Spatial Character of Cities

Urban Structure: The Social and Spatial Character of Cities

Urban Structure: The Social and Spatial Character of Cities

Urban Structure: The Social and Spatial Character of Cities

Excerpt

Urban sociology is a long-established field for research and teaching, yet its importance and even its existence as a specialty are in jeopardy. As increasing numbers of people come to live in urban places and as those remaining on the farm become urban or semi- urban in their outlook and behavior, urban sociology is coming to be nearly synonymous with general sociology. What then is the justification, if any, for the continuation of urban sociology as a special subject within sociology? What contribution to man's knowledge can urban sociology make that cannot be made as well by another field? If no answer can be offered and supported, then urban sociologists, urban sociological research, and urban sociology courses perforce merge conceptually with other sociologists and sociologies.

Fortunately there is an answer: urban ecology. Human spatial distribution in and around cities as an influent and mediator of social relationships is probably the only major urban phenomenon that remains sufficiently separable to provide a legitimate intellectual rationale for the continuance of urban sociology as a distinct field. To condense: The only unique integrant of urban sociology is urban ecology.

These assertions are not meant to imply that all the facts, ideas, and interpretations found in traditionally designed books on urban sociology are cold-heartedly expunged from this volume. On the contrary, quite a bit of the material accords in a limited way with the classic content of urban sociology. The difference between this book and its fellows lies in two circumstances: the primary emphasis on ecological . . .

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