SOCA02H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Urban Sociology, Juvenile Delinquency, Gemeinschaft And Gesellschaft
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Space and society
- The relationship between spatial form and social structures is the main
underlying question of urban sociology. It is reciprocal:
- Influence of space on social relations is assumed in urban planning. Main
characteristics: materiality (form, density, size) and centrality.
- Influence of society on spatial forms: social structures and agency produce
accommodating spatial forms (e.g. industrial city).
- Much urban-sociological research does not really consider space: space may be
incidental to research on both “the city in society” and the “society in the city.”
Cities and their surrounding areas
- Cities are relatively large, densely populated, permanent settlements in which
most residents do not produce their own food.
- Cities depend on the surrounding areas, initially for food, then for market demand
for manufactured goods, and finally for labour.
- Conflicts of interest between cities and surrounding areas (now including
suburbs: 416 vs. 905).
- Migration of the middle and upper class out of central cities in North America
after WWII means loss of city tax base; city services are funded by municipal
taxes, but are used by residents of a much wider area, including the recently-
moved middle and upper class.
- Economic factors and political decisions influence urbanization: growth in
the proportion of the population living in cities.
Explaining the rural and the urban – Toennies
- Gemeinschaft = opportunity
1. Familiarity with all members
2. Homogeneity of members; high conformity
3. Informal social control
1. Presence of strangers
2. Heterogeneity of members; diversity of norms
3. Formal social control
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