Essay 1 requires you to summarize and apply what you are learning about urban sociology. Remember, the essay takes the place of an exam. So, to do well on this essay, you will need to rely heavily on the materials presented in class and in the readings.
Chapters 1 through 6 in The New Urban Sociology document the historical development of thinking about cities (chapters 1, 3, 4) as well as the history of urbanization globally (chapter 2) and in the United States (chapters 5, 6). Based on your reading of the book and the materials we have covered during class meetings, your essay will answer the following two questions:
1. How does urbanization in the United States differ from that of other places discussed in chapter 2? Identify three specific differences and explain their significance for urban and suburban development in the United States . Chapter 1 provides some useful U.S. population statistics for recent decades, but you should focus on comparing processes and patterns of urbanization discussed in chapter 2 with those discussed in chapters 5 and 6.
2. What is the role of political economy in urbanization and city life? In answering this question, you will want to discuss three separate aspects of the role of political economy in shaping urbanization and/or city life. Here are some examples of aspects you could focus on:
You could discuss how capitalist industrialization (as a form of \”extended commodity production\”) contributed to the unprecedented growth of cities (in ways that \”simple commodity production\”, for example, could not).
You could discuss the significance of \”uneven development\” by defining it and describing its causes and consequences.
You could describe a specific theory (e.g., class conflict, capital accumulation, growth machine, sociospatial perspective) or the ideas of a theorist (e.g., Lefebrve, Engels) and explain how they help foster an understanding of role of political economy in urbanization.
You could explain the roles of government and real estate institutions shaping patterns of urbanization.
You could describe broader consequences of capitalist urbanization, such as how modern city life changes people\’s ways of thinking and living (for better or worse).
Remember that quality responses will include specific, well-documented details about theories/theorists as well as clearly illustrated case examples drawn from the text.
Your essays will be graded based on the grading criteria listed on the essay grading page. Essays will be docked 10 points per day late. I will only accept late essay assignments for full credit in the event of a documented medical or family emergency.
Your essay should be 4 pages long (a cover sheet is not necessary). It should be in 12-point font, double-spaced, and with 1 inch margins. Writing much less than 4 pages will hurt your grade. You should rely on materials covered in the New Urban Sociology. If you draw on other sources, you must use the APA system for references. This system is described in the \”APA Citation Guide\”, which is posted on Blackboard. This essay is an important part of your grade so devote adequate time to it. If you have trouble writing essays you can receive writing assistance at the University Writing Center (see syllabus for more information).