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Unformatted text preview: NAME: Study Guide Exam 3 I. Know and be able to apply each of the following text and lecture organizing strategies discussed in Van Blerkom to the attached textbook excerpt. 0 Note Taking (Chapter 5) 0 Organizing Text Information (Chapter 9) (Also see first page of each chapter as samples of graphics) 0 Summary Sheets (Chapter 10) o Marking Your Text (Chapter 8) 0 Objective Tests — (Chapter 11) 0 Strategies for Essay Exams (Chapter 12) 0 Preparing for Final Exams — Chapter 13 10/ 14/2005 SI‘GS 2‘)000\Van Blerkom Spring 2009\Study Guide Exam 3 Top Shcculoc (ll/\I’l I R 15 COMMUNITIES AND THE ENVIRONMENT How Did Communities Originate? The Environment ' Early Communities Environmental Problems: An Overview Preindustrial Cities Functionalism and Human Ecology Industrial and Postindustrial Cities Conflict View of Environmental Issues Environmental Justice Urbanization Social Policy and Communities: Functionalist View: Urban Ecology Seeking Shelter Worldwide Conflict View: New Urban Sociology The Issue Types of Communities The Setting Central Cities Sociological insights Suburbs Policy Initiatives Rural Communities Boxes Community and Technological Change: SOCIOLOGY IN THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY: Squatter A Case Study Settlements RESEARCH IN ACTION: Gated Communities 424 Chapter 15 Indian American residents of Chicago enioy an outdoor ethnic festival, Many subordinate racial and ethnic groups in the United States live in close-knit urban neighborhoods. 3. Ethnic villagers. These urban residents prefer to live in their own tight-knit communities. Typically. immigrant groups isolate themselves in such neighborhoods to avoid resentment from well- established urban dwellers. 4. The deprived. Very poor people and families have little choice but to live in low-rent, and often run- down, urban neighborhoods. 5. The trapped. Some city residents wish to leave urban centers but cannot because of their limited economic resources and prospects. Cans includes the“downward mobiles" in this category—people who once held higher social positions but who are forced to live in less prestigious neighborhoods owing to loss ofa job. death of a wage earner. or old age. Both elderly individuals living alone and families may feel "trapped" in part because they resent changes in their communities. Their desire to live elsewhere may reflect their uneasiness with unfamiliar immigrant groups who have become their neighbors. These categories remind us that the city represents a choice (even a dream) for certain people and a nightmare for others. Gans's work underscores the importance of neighborhoods in contemporary urban life. Ernest Burgess. in his study of life in Chicago in the I9ZOs. had given special attention to the ethnic neighborhoods of that city. Many decades later. residents in such districts as Chinatowns or Grccktowns continue to feel attached to their own ethnic communities rather than to the larger unit of a city. Even outside ethnic enclaves, a special sense of belonging can take hold in a neighborhood. In a more recent study in Chicago, Gerald Suttles (1972) coined the term defended neighbor- hood to refer to people’s definitions of their community boundaries. Neighborhoods acquire unique identities because residents view them as geographically separate— and socially different—from adja- cent areas. The defended neighbor- hood, in effect, becomes a sentimental union ofsimilar people. Neighborhood phone directories, community newspapers. school and parish boundaries, and business ad- vertisements all serve to define an area and distinguish it from nearby communities. In some cases, a neighborhood must literally defend itself. Plans for urban renewal or a superhighway may threaten to destroy an area's unique character and sense of attachment. In resisting such changes. a neighborhood may use the strategies and tactics of community organization developed by pioneering organizer Saul Alinsky (1909-1972). Like many conflict sociologists. Alinsky was concerned with the ways in which society's most powerful institutions protect the privileges ofcertain groups (such as real estate developers) while keeping other groups (such as slum dwellers) in a subservient po- sition. Alinsky (1946) emphasized the need for commu- nity residents to fight for power in their localities. In his view. it was only through the achievement and construc- tive use of power that people could better themselves (Horwitt I989). Ofcourse. a defended neighborhood may maintain its distinctive identity by excluding those who are deemed dif- ferent or threatening. [n 198], the Supreme Court upheld the right of the city of Memphis, Tennessee. to erect a bar- rier and close a street connecting an all-White and all-Black neighborhood. White residents requested the closure. claiming that there was too much undesirable traffic com- ing through their own communities. In a dissenting opin- ion, lustice Thurgood Marshall. the first African American to serve on the Supreme Court. called the barrier a “badge of slavery." Close to two decades later. however. defended neighborhoods with physical barriers have become more common across the United States because of the growing number of “gated communities" (sec Box IS-Z). J Types of Communities Communities vary substantially in the degree to which their members feel connected and share a common iden- tity. Ferdinand Tonnies (1988, original ' edition 1887) used the term Gemeinschaft to describe close-knit communities where social interac- tion among people is intimate and familiar. It is the kind of place where people in a coffee shop will stop talking when anyone enters, because they are sure to know who- ever walks through the door. A shopper at the small gro- cery store in this town would expect to know every em- ployee, and probably every other customer as well. By contrast, the ideal type of Gesellschaft describes modern urban life, in which people feel little in common with others and often form social relationships as a result of interactions focused on immediate tasks, such as purchas- ing a product. Contemporary city life in the United States generally resembles a Gesellschafr. The following sections will examine different types of communities found in the United States, focusing on the distinctive characteristics and problems of central cities, suburbs, and rural communities. Central Cities In terms of both land and population, the United States is the fourth—largest nation in the world. Yet three-quarters of the population is concentrated in a mere 1.5 percent of the nation's land area. in 1996, some 212 million people—accounting for 80 percent of the nation's popu- lation—lived in metropolitan areas. Even those who live outside central cities, such as residents of suburban and rural communities, find that urban centers heavily influ- ence their lifestyles (Bureau of the Census 1998c:39). Urban Dwellers Many urban residents are the descendants of European immigrants—Irish, Italians, Iews, Poles, and others- who came to the United States in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The cities socialized these newcomers to the norms, values, and language of their new homeland and gave them an opportunity to work their way up the economic ladder. In addition, a substantial number of low~income African Americans and Whites came to the cities from rural areas in the period following World War II. Even today, cities in the United States are the destina- tions of immigrants from around the world—including Mexico, Ireland, Cuba, Vietnam, and Haiti—as well as migrants from the United States com- monwealth of Puerto Rico. Yet, unlike ‘ those who came to this country 100 years ago, current im- migrants are arriving at a time of growing urban decay. This makes it more difficult for them to find employment and decent housing. Urban life is noteworthy for its diversity, so it would be a serious mistake to see all city residents as being alike. Sociologist Herbert I. Gans (1991) has distinguished be- tween five types of people found in our cities: 1. Cosmopolites. These residents remain in cities to take advantage of unique cultural and intellectual benefits. Writers, artists, and scholars fall into this category. 2. Unmarried and childless people. Such people choose to live in cities because of the active nightlife and varied recreational opportunities. 426 Chapter [5 Developers and bankers are less interested in providing affordable housrng than in buulding new ballparks. preferably with government subsidies. Yet subsidized sports complexes rarely yield the employment opportunities they promise. Baltimore's Camden Yards, shown here. added little to the local economy compared to its cost. Sociologists Douglas Massey and Nancy Denton (1993) have used the term “American apartheid" to refer to the residential patterns of the nation. In their view, we no longer perceive segregation as a problem but rather accept it as a feature of the urban landscape. For subordinate mi- nority groups. segregation means not only limited hous- ing opportunities but also less access to employment. re- tail outlets. and medical services. Another critical problem for the cities has been mass transportation. Since l950, the number of cars in the United States has multiplied twice as fast as the number of people. Growing traffic congestion in metropolitan areas has led many cities to recognize a need for safe. efficient, and inexpensive mass transit systems. However. the fed- eral government has traditionally given much more assis- tance to highway programs than to public transportation. Conflict theorists note that such a bias favors the relatively affluent (automobile owners) as well as corporations such as auto manufacturers. tire makers. and oil companies. Meanwhile, low-income residents of metropolitan areas. who are much less likely to own cars than members of the middle and upper classes. face higher fares on public tran- sit along with deteriorating service (Mason I998). In 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. observed that“ur- ban transit systems in most American cities have become a genuine civil rights issue." An overcrowded public bus system in Los Angclcs County carries 94 percent of the county’s passengers—80 percent of whom are African American, His- panic, Asian American, or Native American—yet receives less than one-third of the county’s mass tran. sit expenditures. At the same time, a lavish commuter rail system that al- ready connects or will connect pre- dominantly White suburbs to the downtown business district of Los Angeles carries only 6 percent of the county’s passengers yet receives 71 percent of mass transit funding. Similar inequities in funding for public transportation have been challenged in New York City (Kelley 1996:18). Ironically, while many commu- nities are insisting that they cannot afford to maintain public services and are shifting them to the private sector. some nevertheless find sub- stantial funds to attract professional sports franchises. According to esti- mates, at least $11 billion of public money was spent in the United States during the 19905 on 45 stadiums and arenas. Local politicians and business leaders claim that winning a sports franchise boosts the lo- cal economy and enhances community spirit. But critics counter that professional sports teams build profits for a wealthy few—and offer tax write-offs to corporations that maintain lavish luxury boxes—without genuinely revital- izing neighborhoods. much less an entire city. These critics refer to the use of significant public funds to attract pro- fessional sports franchises as “stadium welfare." Balti- more's highly praised Camden Yards baseball stadium pro- duced a net gain. in terms of new jobs and tax revenue. of only $3 million a year—not much ofa return on the $200 million invested (Egan I999; Noll and Zimbalist 1997). Suburbs The term suburb derives from the Latin sub urbe, meaning “under the city.” Until recent times. most suburbs were just that—tiny communities totally dependent on urban centers for jobs, recreation, and even water. Today. the term suburb defies any simple definition. The term generally refers to any community near a large CitY—or, as the Census Bureau would say, any territory within a metropolitan area that is not included in the cen- tral city. By that definition. more than 138 million people, or about 51 percent of the population of the United States. lived in the suburbs in 1999. Research in Action he poet Robert Frost wrote that "- “good fences make good neighbors“ , locked doors, walls, and fences have -.‘: been features bf shelter 1n the United *' States for generations. However. in ing interest in isolating entire com- munities from those who otherwise would be neighbors. Political scientist Evan McKenzie (1994) uses the term privatopia' to describe the emergence of f a new type of artificial utopia: private communities within cities and suburbs. in some'cases, the communities are , gated, sealed off from surrounding neighborhoods. There are three cate- gories of gated communities: - Lifestyle communities, including retirement communities, golf and country club leisure develop- ments, and suburban new towns. - Prestige communities, where gates symbolize distinction and stature, including enclaves of the rich and famous, developments for high- level professionals, and executive home developments for the mid— dle class. - Security zones, motivated by fear of crime and outsiders. The private developers who build these generally “upscale" communities create homeowners’ associations to establish 15-2 Gated Commum’ues rules and to contract for such services ' . C; as security, garbage collection, and even 2 education. The associations build co i."~_ ming pools, and golf courses—fall recent decades, there has been a grow? 7 ..‘ members and their guests. " 3i: '.newspapers, and barred political meet- , ings or rallies in public areas. munity parks, recreation centers, swim which are restricted to asso iation Some gated communities and homeowners associations have banned . display of the U.S. flag and political signs, prohibited the distribution of . 'z 1"" The message is clear: These streets are for members only. idents of private communities defend such restrictions as essential for main- " taining property values and believe that relinquishing a bit of personal freedom is worthwhile so they may be protected from improper behavior by their neighbors. From a conflict perspective, there is particular concern about the symbol- ism of gated communities, which cur- rently house about 4 million people in the United States. The residents of gated communities are overwhelm— ingly White and affluent. Gated com- munities are vividly separated from ad- Sources Blakely and Snyder 1997; Egan 1995. E. McKenzie 1994; Vanderpool 1995. joining neighborhoods, their gates, walls, and entry doors are monitored 24 hours a day by uniformed private security guards. The message is clear: 'These streets are for members only The emergence of horn owners' as- sociations and gated communities is . troubling because it suggests an even sharper segregation of 'our Society, '-with the I‘haves” hidden in their pri- f-vate fortresses and walled off from the g‘have- -nots." Moreover, as people be;- come isolated 1n private communities, they may'care less and less about the , "deterioration of public services outside . their communities, in nearby cities - and counties. With this in mind, Evan McKenzie refers to the shift toward privatopia as “secession by the suc- cessful," with affluent individuals and families seceding from the rights and responsibilities of citizenship in a larger society. ““- Let’s Discuss 1. Is there a gated community near you? if so. is it a lifestyle commu- nity. a prestige community, or a security zone? 2. What do you think of people who live in gated communities? Would you want to live in one yourself (or if you already do, would you want to stay)? Issues Facing Cities People and neighborhoods vary greatly within any city in the United States. Yet all residents of a central city—~re- gardless of social class, racial. and ethnic differences— face certain common problems. Crime. air pollution, noise, unemployment. overcrowded schools, inadequate public transportation—these unpleasant realities and many more are an increasing feature of contemporary urban life. Perhaps the single most dramatic reflection of the nation's urban ills has been the apparent “death" ofentire neighborhoods. In some urban districts. business activity seems virtually nonexistent. You can walk for blocks and find little more than a devastating array of deteriorating, boarded-up, abandoned, and burned-out buildings. Such urban devastation has greatly contributed to the growing problem of homelessness. discussed in the social policy section. Residential segregation has also been a persistent problem in cities across the United States. The segregation has resulted from the policies of financial institutions, the business practices of real estate agents, the actions of home sellers. and even urban planning initiatives (for ex- ample, in decisions about where to locate public housing). 425 Three social factors differentiate suburbs from cities. First. suburbs are generally less dense than cities; in the newest suburbs. there are often no more than two dwellings on an acre of land. Second, the suburbs consist almost exclusively of private space. Private ornamental lawns replace common park areas for the most part. Third, suburbs have more exacting building design codes than cities, and these codes have become increasingly pre- cise in the last decade. While the suburbs may be diverse in population, such design standards give the impression of uniformity. it can also be difficult to distinguish between suburbs and rural areas. Certain criteria generally define suburbs: Most people work at urban (as opposed to rural) jobs, and local governments provide services such as water sup- ply, sewage disposal. and fire protection. In rural areas. these services are less common, and a greater proportion of residents is employed in farming and related activities (Baldassare 1992). Suburban Expansion Whatever the precise definition ofa suburb, it is clear that suburbs have expanded. In fact, suburbanization has been the most dramatic population trend in the United States throughout the twentieth century. Suburban areas grew at first along railroad lines. then at the termini of streetcar tracks, and by the 1950:; along the nation's growing sys- tems of freeways and expressways. The suburban boom has been especially evident since World War ll. Suburbanization is not necessarily prompted by ex- pansion of transportation services to the fringe of a city. The 1923 earthquake that devastated Tokyo encouraged decentralization of the city. Until the 19705, dwellings were limited to a height of IOZ feet. Initially. the poor were relegated to areas outside municipal boundaries in their search for housing; many chose to live in squatter«type settlements. With the advent of a rail network and ris- ing land costs in the central city, middle-class Japanese be- gan moving to the suburbs after World War ll (P. Hall 1977). Proponents of the new urban sociology contend that factories were initially moved from central cities to suburbs as a means of reducing the power of labor unions. Subsequently. many suburban communities in— duced businesses to relocate there by offering them subsi- dies and tax incentives. As sociologist William Julius Wil- son (1996) has observed, federal housing policies contributed to the suburban boom by withholding mort- gage capital from inner‘city neighborhoods, by offering favorable mortgages to military veterans. and by assisting the rapid development of massive amounts of affordable tract housing in the suburbs. Moreover. fe...
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