1) Outline the Main Concepts and Theories Used in the Academic Discussion of the City. What is the Importance of the City for Sociology? Cities are basically places where people come together for different purposes such as social or business transactions. Cities fulfill various tasks which help in serving the needs of its inhabitants as well as those of the people in the surroundings…
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Sociologists, such as David Riesman, claimed that urban cities were the places where dwellers were more likely to suffer loneliness irrespective of the high numbers of people living in the urban areas. Sennett argues that designation of modern cities has changed a lot as compared to the traditional cities. However, he posits that the modern cities do not meet the requirements of what a city should be like (Giddens, & Sutton, 2010; Patrick & Neugarten, 2011). The last two decades of the twentieth century were characterized by promotion of humane cities. Among the activists were the new urbanisms who advocate for proper physical designs as a prerequisite for development of humane cities. New urbanists argue that cities should be reoriented towards regions far from automobiles. Another group that emerged supported community-based development and argued that it was important to empower common people in the community in order to enhance development of humane cities. An additional group felt that sustainable urban development was crucial in improving the living standards of city dwellers. An extra group of theorists viewed the city as a self-organizing entity whose development is dependent on culture (Patrick and Neugarten, 2011). Concepts and theories on urban sociology are mainly derived from works of sociologists such as George Simmel, KarlMarx, Max Weber, Park Burgess, Lowis Wirth, Tonnies and Redfield. Simmel argued that establishment and development of the money economy led to establishment of cities which tampered with the social life. Weber and Wirth argued that extreme urbanization affected the contribution of people in political aspects. Karl Marx criticized urbanization resulting due to capitalism. Marx and Engels argued that urbanization which led to development of cities resulted in pauperization and degradation of the traditional social ties in the society (Giddens, & Sutton, 2010). Mills and Macuse agreed that capitalist urbanization tampered with development of community by destroying social interactions. Tonnies argued that urbanization destroyed the spirit of communalism and led to development of individualized societies Tonnies argued that rural areas had gemeinschaft settlement, which characterized by unity while the rural areas or cities had gesellschaft settlement characterized by lack of unity amongst individuals. University of Chicago is also credited for contributing largely to the development of different concepts of urban sociology. Researchers such as Robert Park, Ernest Burgess, Wirth, Homer Hoyt, Ullman, and Harries worked from the University of Chicago and developed different concepts regarding urban sociology particularly on human life in the cities. The above sociologist tried to relate biological concepts with the social life in the cities arguing that completion played a major role in shaping the social life in cities (Giddens, & Sutton, 2010). Robert Park argued that urban sociology was characterized by symbiosis, as well as cultural organizations. He claimed that individuals living within the cities demonstrated symbiotic relationships by competing for the scarce resources. On the other hand, the urban inhabitants had cultural organizations characterized by communication as well as consensus. Ernest Burgess developed the
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