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Connections made during today's discussion

HSBurke's picture

Today while we were discussing Traub's idea that "in the inner city, social capital barely exists", I was able to make a connection between the reading and what I have learned thus far in my Urban Sociology class, but I wasn't really sure how to fit it into in class discussion, so I'll put it here. 

What we didn't talk about is that the very nature of cities limits the social capital (as defined by Traub) between its residents. Louis Wirth, who wrote Urbanism as a Way of Life describes the physical structure and layout of a city and how this affects people. According to Wirth, a city can be defined as a large, heterogenous, high-density dwelling. He continues to assert that because there are so many people in cities, primary ties are replaced by secondary ties, and those moving about through the streets are more isolated and lonely because they are less likely to know everyone. This is the idea of the "metropolitan man" and although it's been almost 75 years since Wirth's work was published, we can still see our modern metroman in the city today. 

What I gave here is a very general summary of some of Wirth's points, but you can read the whole essay here: 

I think that Wirth's assessment of how the physical/structural aspects of the city really affect social relationships is one that could be very applicable to our reading of Traub, and one that we did not fully delve into in class today. 


HSBurke's picture

Hey guys! This is what I had

Hey guys! This is what I had up before, I just hadn't been a part of the class group (oops!) so my things weren't showing up.