Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

Cities, Change, and Conflict, 4th Edition

  • Nancy Kleniewski
  • Alexander R. Thomas
  • ISBN-10: 0495812226
  • ISBN-13: 9780495812227
  • 448 Pages | Hardcover
  • Previous Editions: 2006, 2002, 1997
  • COPYRIGHT: 2011 Published
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About the Product

CITIES, CHANGE, AND CONFLICT - A POLITICAL ECONOMY OF URBAN LIFE discusses the importance of cities for the economic, cultural, and political life of modern societies. The authors consistently use the political economy perspective to introduce students to the basic concepts and research in urban sociology, while also acknowledging the contributions of the human ecology perspective. Through the use of case studies, the presentation remains accessible and down-to-earth, engaging the student in the material.


  • The importance of cities for economic, cultural, and political life of modern societies is the recurrent theme of this text. Using a political economy perspective, Kleniewski introduces students to concepts and research in urban sociology while offering the human ecology perspective as well.

  • This is the only Urban Sociology text that uses a consistent theoretical perspective (in this case, political economy) throughout to introduce students to the basic concepts and research in the field.

  • The text uses contemporary examples to help anchor the more theoretical topics. It also gives the student a wider perspective of the importance of urban settings by describing past, present, and future cities.

  • Separate chapter (Chapter 11) covers the role of women in cities, both in today's society and with a historical perspective.

  • Discussion questions at the end of each chapter encourage critical thinking and understanding of the material presented.

About the Author

Nancy Kleniewski

Nancy Kleniewski is president of the State University of New York College at Oneonta. Her background, research, teaching, and publications focus on urban sociology and urban policy.

Alexander R. Thomas

Alex Thomas has been teaching Urban Sociology for about ten years and studies the relationship between cities and the countryside. Currently Associate Professor at SUNY Oneonta, he has published three monographs dealing with social change in upstate New York.

Table of Contents

1. Examining Urban Issues.
Attitudes About Cities. Box 1.1 The City as a Magnet for Youth. Some Urban Myths. Political Economy Perspective. Cities, Change, and Conflict: Three Applications. The Forbidden City Within Los Angeles. Criminalizing Homelessness. Box 1.2 Project HOME''s Campaign against Homelessness. Environmental Racism and Environmental Justice. Box 1.3 Environmental Justice in Chicago. Conclusion.
2. Theoretical Perspectives on the City.
Theories and Paradigms. Urban Ecology Paradigm. Antecedents: Tonnies, Durkheim, Simmel. The Chicago School. Contributions and Critique. Political Economy Paradigm. Antecedents: Marx, Engels, and Weber. Emergence of Urban Political Economy. Promise and Limitations of Political Economy. Box 2.1 Perspectives on Urban Ghettos. Conclusion.
3. Cities in World History.
Origins of Cities. Early Urban Centers. What Makes Them Cities? Ancient Cities, 1000 B.C. to A.D. 300. Physical Features of Ancient Cities. Social Patterns in Ancient Cities. Cities Outside of Europe. Cities of the Near East. Box 3.1 Islamic Cities. Cities of the Far East. Box 3.2 Chinese Cities of the Chou Dynasty. Cities of the Americas. Box 3.3 City Planning in Teotihuacán. Medieval Cities in Europe. Feudalism and the Growth of Towns. Social Institutions. Pressures on the System. Growth of Capitalism and the Industrial City. Cities Built on Trade. World-Economy. Early Industrial Cities. Conclusion.
4. Urban Development in the United States.
A Brief History of Cities of the United States. The Commercial City. The Industrial City. The Corporate City. Explaining Urban Patterns. Ecological Explanations. Political Economic Explanations. Process of Urban Growth and Change. City Builders: Property Capitalists. Local Government Officials. Corporations. Regional Differences in Growth and Development. The South. New England. California. Conclusion.
5. Cities, Suburbs, and Metropolitan Areas.
Changes in Metropolitan Areas Since 1950. Growth of Suburbs and Metropolitan Areas. Policy Choices by the Federal Government. Local Political Choices: To Annex of Not to Annex? Corporate Decisions: New Industrial Spaces. Social Consequences of Suburbanization. Restructuring the Central Cities. Transformation of the Central Business Districts. Social Transformation of the Cities. Box 5.1 The Process of Gentrification in New York''s East Village. Box 5.2 Restructuring of the Metropolitan Los Angeles Economy. Explaining Urban Transformations. The United States in the World Economy. Government Responses to Economic Changes. Conclusion.
6. Cities in Europe.
Cities in Western Europe. Box 6.1 Super Cities. Comparisons with North American Cities. Factors Affecting Western European Cities. Emerging Problems in Western European Cities. Immigration. Socially Excluded Groups. Cities in Eastern and Central Europe. Urban Planning. Box 6.2 Planning for Moscow as a Communist Mecca. Box 6.3 The International Scene in Prague. Housing. Economic Restructuring. Environmental Challenges. Globalization and Global Cities. The Process of Globalization. Globalization and Politics. Global Cities. Characteristics of Global Cities. Similarities among Global Cities. Conclusion.
7. Cities in the Third World.
Characteristics of Third World Cities. Urban Population Trends. Box 7.1 The Urban-Rural Gap. Economic and Political Trends. Box 7.2 The Informal Sector in Calcutta. Box 7.3 Mexico City. Explaining the Diverging Paths of Urban Development. Development Perspective. Uneven Development Perspectives. Box 7.4 The Banana Industry and the Honduran Economy. Box 7.5 Caribbean Sweatshops. Future Development of Third World Cities. Conclusion.
8. Immigrants and the City.
Old and New Immigration. Three Waves of Immigration. Reactions to Newcomers. Economics of Immigration. U.S. Immigrations Policy. Contemporary Immigrant Lifestyles. Ethnic Identification and Group Solidarity. Box 8.1 The MĂ©ndez Children. Ethnic Neighborhoods and Ethnic Enclaves. Immigrants in the Workplace. Immigrants and Politics. Do Cities Gain or Lose from Immigration? Conclusion.
9. African Americans in Cities.
Development of African-American Neighborhoods. Urban Race Relations Before the Great Migration. Box 9.1 Race Relations in Philadelphia Before 1900. The Great Migration. Whites and Segregation. Enclave or Ghetto? Current Racial Patterns in Metropolitan Areas. Institutional Barriers to Housing Choice. Correlates and Consequences of Racial Segregation. Suburban Movement. Social Class Patterns in African-American Neighborhoods. Changing Class Structure. Racial Concentration and Political Power. Box 9.2 Geography of Race and Social Class in Detroit. Current Issues Around Race and Residential Patterns. Government Policy. Attitudes About Racial Homogeneity. Conclusion. Discussion Questions. Online Exercises.
10. Changing Social Class Patterns.
What Is a Social Class? Social Class and Communities. Mapping Studies: Pictures of the Whole City. Descriptions of Urban Life: Community Studies. Box 10.1 Creation of an Elite Neighborhood. Box 10.2 Dismantling of a Working Class Community. Summary. Mechanisms for Sorting Out the Social Classes. Housing Market. Institutional Actors and Influences. Labor Market. The Changing Economy and the Shrinking Middle Class. Housing Patterns: A Reflection of Social Inequality. Withdrawal of the Affluent. Displacement of the Vulnerable. Homelessness: The Bottom of the Barrel. Conclusion. Discussion Questions. Online Exercises.
11. Women in Cities.
Women''s Spaces, Men''s Spaces. Gender, Ethnicity, and Social Class in the City. Gendered Urban Spaces. Contemporary Workplaces. Transportation. Community Organizations. Box 11.1 Women as Community Activists. Recreation. Consumption. Running Cities As If Women Mattered. What Do Women Want? User-Friendly Communities. Discussion Questions. Online Exercises.
12. Urban Economic Development.
The Changing Economy. Impact on Local Economic Bases. Jobs of the Future. Growth of the Informal Economy. The Arts and the Urban Economy. Box 12.1 Culture as Business. Urban Economic Development Policy. Privatism and the Local Economy. Progressive Policies for Local Economic Development. Box 12.2 Investing in Human Capital. Politics of Economic Development Programs. Conclusion. Box 12.3 The Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative. Discussion Questions. Online Exercises.
13. Local Government and Finances.
Government and Political Power. Municipal Control, Political Machines, and Reforms. Box 13.1 Machine Politics in the Industrial Era. Studies of Political Power. Recent Directions in the Study of Local Government. Financing Local Government. Fiscal Crises. Lessons from the Fiscal Crisis. Urban Politics and Urban Reform. Box 13.2 The Progressive Agenda for Chicago. Regionalism and Metropolitan Government. Conclusion. Discussion Questions. Online Exercises.
14. Federal Urban Policy.
Implicit Urban Policy. Emergence of Urban Policy. Public Housing. Urban Renewal. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Summary: Efforts to Direct Urban Policy from Washington. Transformation of Urban Policy. New Federalism. Retreat from Urban Policy. Reinventing Urban Policy. Politics and Urban Policy. Why Is the United States Different? Conclusion. Discussion Questions. Online Exercises.
15. Urban Unrest and Social Control.
How Orderly Is Society? Theories Stressing Order. Theories Stressing Conflict. Some Types of Urban Unrest. Crime. Gang Activity. Box 15.1 Gang Recruitment. Riots. Social Movements. Box 15.2 Redlining and Reinvestment. Causes of Urban Disruptions. Approaches to Reducing Urban Disruptions. Informal Social Control. Formal Social Control. Strategic Reinvestment. Conclusion. Discussion Questions. Online Exercises.
16. Planning for the Future of Cities.
Urban Planning in History. Defense. Commerce. Political Power. Urban Planning: The View from the Ground. Imaging the City. The Social Life of the Street. Urban Planning: Visions and Realities. Utopian Visions. Planning Realities in the United States. The Vision Implemented. Planning and Politics. Social Justice and the City. Discussion Questions. Online Exercises.

New to this edition

  • New additions to the material on globalization in Chapters 3, 5, 6, 7, and 8.
  • Chapter 6 contains more boxes and photos of boxes and photos of European cities.
  • Chapter 7 includes new material that goes through the history of such regions as sub-Saharan Africa, southeast Asia, India, and Mexico and then focuses on specific cities in those regions, such as Nairobi, Shanghai, Mumbai, and Mexico City. There is also material on overurbanization and some historic cities in those regions, such as Cuzco, Sao Paolo, and Rio de Janeiro.
  • Chapter 8 features increased coverage of immigrant metropolises.
  • Chapter 10 has improved coverage of concentrated poverty.