Urban Sociology

This course was last taught at Kutztown University in Fall 2014.

Primary Textbook

Chen, Orum & Paulsen (2012) Introduction to Cities: How Place and Space Shape Human Experience. New York: Wiley-Blackwell

Book Report Books

Elijah Anderson (2011) Cosmopolitan Canopy: Race and Civility in Everyday Life. New York: W.W. Norton.
Mike Davis (2007) Planet of Slums. New York: Verso.
Joan Fitzgerald (2010) Emerald Cities: Urban Sustainbility and Economic Development. New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Edward Glaesser (2012) Triumph of the City. New York: Penguin.
Eric Klinenberg (2012) Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone. New York: Penguin.

Optional Readings

Lin & Mele (2005) The Urban Sociology Reader. New York: Routledge.

Part I: An Introduction to Urban Sociology

Week I: Introductions
  • Chapter 1: Cities as places and spaces
  • Exercise: Draw a picture or map of your home town

Optional Readings from Urban Reader

Week II: Urban Theory
  • Chapter 2: Social theories of urban space & place: Early Perspectives
  • Chapter 3: Social theories of urban space & place: Post-WW2 Era

Optional Readings from Urban Reader

Week III: Urban Methods Chapter 4: Methods and rules for the study of cities
Week IV: Exam I Optional Videos

Optional Audio

Additional Readings:

Part II: The Changing Metropolis & Inequality

Week V

Suggested Films: Bomb It (2007) and Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)

  • Video & Urban Debates
Week VI: The Changing Metropolis
  • Chapter 5: The Metropolis and its Expansion
  • Chapter 6: The origins and development of the suburbs

Optional Readings from Urban Reader

  • Urbanism and Suburbanism as Ways of Life by Herbert Gans
  • City as a Growth Machine by Logan and Molotch
Week VII: Urban Form
  • Chapter 7: Changing Metropolitan Landscape After WWII
  • Exercise: Take a picture of both a new building and an old building either in Kutztown or your own home town, and write a short description of how it fits into the city’s landscape. How are they different? Is one out of place, or does it fit in? Do the two buildings tell a story about your town’s history?

Optional Readings from Urban Reader

  • Los Angeles and the Chicago School by Michael Dear
  • City Spatial Structure, Women’s Household Work, and National Policy by Ann Markusen
Week VIII: Urban Inequality
  • Chapter 8: Changing Metropolitan Landscapes
  • Chapter 9: Inequality and diversity in the post-World War II Metropolis

Optional Readings from Urban Reader

  • The Cost of Racial and Class Exclusion by Wacquant and Wilson
  • Segregation and the Making of the Underclass by Massey and Denton
  • The Immigrant Enclave by Alejandro Portes and Robert D. Manning

Week IX: Exam II

Suggested Films: Pruit Igoe Myth (2011)

Additional Material: Maps

Part III: The Global Metropolis and Urban Challenges

Week X: The Global Metropolis
  • Chapter 10: Urbanization and urban places in developing countries
  • Chapter 11: Cities in the Global Economy 

Optional Readings from Urban Reader

  • The World City Hypothesis by John Friedman
  • The Urban Impact of Globalization by Saskia Sassen
  • Fortified Enclaves: The New Urban Segregation by Teresa P.R. Caldeira
Week XI:  (Catch Up Week)
Week XII: The Metropolis of the Future
  • Chapter 12: Urban Environments and Sustainability
  • Chapter 13: The remaking and future of Cities

Optional Readings from Urban Reader

  • Looking at Themed Environments by Mark Gottdiener
  • Urban Social Movements by Hamel, et. al.

Week XIII: Exam III

Suggested Films: Wasteland (2010) &  Hot Cities (2011)

 Optional Materials

Week XIV-XV: Group Presentations