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Journal Article

Proměny urbánní sociologie ve Spojených státech a Evropě 1950-2000 / The Transformation of Urban Sociology in the United States and Europe 1950-2000

JIŘÍ MUSIL
Sociologický Časopis / Czech Sociological Review
Vol. 39, No. 2 (DUBEN 2003), pp. 137-167
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41131905
Page Count: 31
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Proměny urbánní sociologie ve Spojených státech a Evropě 1950-2000 / The Transformation of Urban Sociology in the United States and Europe 1950-2000
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Abstract

The core of the paper is a comparative study of urban social theories in the United States, Western Europe, East Central Europe and the former Soviet Union during the period 1950-2000. The analyses of theoretical ideas are accompanied by references to empirical research that has had a substantial impact on urban social theory. At the same time, the paper compares the parallel developments of urban social theories in two parts of the world whose economies, policies and social systems considerably differed up until 1989. Paradoxically, neo-Weberian approaches more adequately explained the urban social processes in Marxist-socialist countries than in Western capitalist societies. And conversely, the attractivity of neo-Marxism in Western urban sociology indicates that in societies in which the market and market-engendered social effects played a dominant role, different versions of Marxist interpretations of urbanism became attractive. The long-term perspective of the paper made it possible to distinguish three developmental phases. In the first phase, scholars concentrated their efforts on discovering yet unknown urban phenomena and on gaining an understanding of regularities in the structure of cities. In the second, urban sociologists attempted to explain urban structures, and here, competing explanations were employed. Cities were conceived mainly as a product and as a dependent variable. In the third phase the city came to be understood as a community linked to a concrete space, as well as to the national and global society. The concepts of space, time and settlement were rehabilitated, and settlements have come to be conceived as places endowed with meaning and identity. In turn, cities have ceased to be „dissolved“ within a society.

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