What class is about?
The aim of this course is to provide an understanding of the dynamics that created contemporary urban socio-spatial practices and patterns; to offer a discussion of different social theories that have been used to explain cites and the process of urbanization. We will examine a number of important theorists beginning with the crucial foundational European theorists; Marx/Engels, Weber and Simmel, and North American theorists; Park, and Wirth. We will then examine and analyze the shape and direction of urban social theory over the last half century and include such theorists as Lefebrve, Harvey, Castells, Dear, Soja, Foucault, Wilson, Sassen, MG Smith, Auge, and Tonkiss among others. Over the length of the course we also will address the implications of these theories for urban design, urban form and urban life.
The five lectures are:
- Foundational Theories: The work of Marx/Engels; Weber; Simmel and the Chicago School and its implications for urban theory
- The City of Capital: Markets, Modernity and Urban Space: Lefebrve, Harvey and Castells and the reawakening of urban theory
- The City Transformed: Theories of postmodernism, globalism and the network society
- The City of the Other: Discourses on women and the city; spaces of the other
- The Contested City: Rethinking urbanism