Led by Dr Paul Jones, Bluecoat's Sociologist-in-Residence for 2017, this introduction to theories and themes of urban social life looks at how cities develop and shape the lives of their inhabitants. The most acute challenges of our age centre on cities, which have always been sites where power is concentrated, and starkly unequal access to resources are manifest. It was against this backdrop that early sociologists were fascinated by the intensified and immersive social life of major nineteenth and early-twentieth century cities such as Berlin, Chicago, London, and Paris. This course traces into the contemporary context the intellectual influence of a group of early thinkers who between them laid important foundations for what has come to be known as urban sociology.
The course addresses three key themes: theories of the urban, which seek to understand the distinctive social life of cities; social divisions and how they play out in particular cities globally; political interventions that have sought to redress social problems in cities.
In general terms, the lecture course will respond to key questions such as:
How do cities develop?
How does the city shape the realities of people who use its spaces?
What are the implications of approaching the city from a sociological perspective?
Course will go every Tuesdays from 31 Jan 2017 through 30 May 2017.