Review of Sociology: Analysis of a Decade

By Joseph B. Gittler | Go to book overview

chapter 6
The urban community

NOEL P. GIST University of Missouri

Urban sociology is probably the most unclearly defined of all the sociological fields. Certainly its boundaries, if such exist, are indistinct, and there is no universal agreement as to its substantive or theoretical character. Unlike rural sociology, which customarily refers to the study of almost all social phenomena relating to farm and village life, urban sociology has emphasized certain facets of the city to the exclusion, or at least minimization, of others. Thus by accepted definition not all sociologists concerned with urban phenomena are "urban" sociologists.

In the United States the publication of numerous college textbooks in urban sociology during the postwar period under review may be taken as evidence of increasing interest in the sociological aspects of cities. This decade witnessed the appearance of no less than eleven new and revised editions of texts dealing with various facets of city life. Indeed, more urban sociology texts were published in this period than in the entire

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