Unformatted text preview: Introduction to Sociology
Lecture Lecture 5: Urbanization and and Segregation
Monday, February 15 Psychosocial Psychosocial consequences
Simmel • “Intensification of nervous stimulation” (i.e., sensory overload) • Countless transitory, random encounters can lead to social exhaustion • Defense mechanism develops in the form of a “blasé attitude,” or or a feeling of reserve, toward others Other Other problems of urban life?
• Weakening of primary group ties, replacement with secondary ties • Reduced effectiveness of informal social control mechanisms (e.g., family, religion) family, – Crime/delinquency – Divorce – Dropouts The safety of urban areas
Jacobs • Coexistence of businesses and residences • “Eyes on the street” • Widespread usage of sidewalks Informal social control Residential Residential segregation
• Residential segregation – The spatial separation of two different groups (e.g., races) in different living areas • The index of dissimilarity – A measure of the extent to which members of two different groups (e.g., whites and Africanmembers Americans) live in different areas – The proportion (or percent) of one group that would need to relocate to other neighborhoods in order to achieve an equal distribution of the two groups throughout the city Culture of poverty
• Poverty leads to the development of attitudes, behaviors, and values that perpetuate poverty in a given area (e.g., self-fulfilling selfprophecy) • These attitudes, behaviors, and values are transmitted to children • Creates a cycle of poverty The black underclass
Wilson • Economic restructuring hollowed out old urban manufacturing cores • Low-skilled African-American workers in the inner-city were LowAfricaninnerleft with no job prospects • Poverty became concentrated in the inner-city inner• Service sector jobs drew middle-class African-Americans into middleAfricansuburbs (i.e., black middle-class exodus) middle- An alternative explanation
• The root cause of the “black underclass” is long-standing longresidential residential segregation • Low-skilled white workers were not trapped in the inner-city Lowinnerduring restructuring because they had already left • Before economic restructuring there was “white flight” from the urban core, not a “middle-class black exodus” “middle- ...
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