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Louis Wirth (August 28, – May 3, ) was an American sociologist and member of the His interests included city life, minority group behaviour and mass media and he is recognised as one of the leading urban sociologists. Wirth writes that urbanism is a form of social organisation that is harmful to culture , and. Louis Wirth posits similar reasons for the differences in the urban and rural milieu as does Georg Simmel. Wirth argues that the shift between. Louis Wirth has mentioned four characteristics of urban system or urbanism Following Louis Wirth, Urbanism is a way of life, is characterised by extensive.

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The reduced size of the modern family is the result of rapid social and cultural change.

The extreme degree of interdependence and the unstable equilibrium of urban life are closely associated with the division of labor and the specialization of occupations. In modern industrialised society, urbanism has become the predominant way of life.

A sociological definition of the city

There is superficiality and impersonalness among the urbanities. While, on the one hand, the traditional ties of human association are weakened, urban wirtb involves a much greater degree of interdependence between man and man and a more complicated, fragile, and volatile form of mutual interrelations over many phases of which the individual as such can exert scarcely any control.

A sociologically significant definition 1 of the city seeks to select those elements of urbanism which mark it as a distinctive mode of human group life. He has suggested that the role of mobility and impersonality in urban life should not be overstated in the factory and other work situations.

Urbanism as a Way of Life: Concept and Characteristics

These latter factors generally result in divergent group norms and values and conflicting social roles. So, the result is lack of intimate relationship. Although Wirth’s thinking originated in this ecological tradition, he is in this extract going beyond it and trying to achieve a balance of ‘ecological’ with individual and cultural factors.

Views Read Edit View urbabism. A Theory of Urbanism The city has thus historically been the melting-pot of races4, peoples, and cultures, and a most favorable breeding-ground of new biological and cultural hybrids.


The rise of cities in the modern world is undoubtedly not independent of the emergence of modern power-driven machine technology, mass production, and capitalistic enterprise; but different as the cities of earlier epochs may have been by virtue of their development in a preindustrial and precapitalistic order from the great cities of today, they were also cities.

Generally, a larger proportion of the adult-urban population is gainfully employed than is the case with the adult-rural population. Upload Your Knowledge on Sociology: Frequent close physical contact, coupled with great social distance, accentuates the reserve of unattached individuals toward one another and, unless compensated by other opportunities for response, gives rise to loneliness.

Wirth later modifies this by suggesting that actual urban societies can be organized on a continuum in which they experience the features of these ideal types to different degrees. The family as a unit of social life is emancipated from the larger kinship group characteristic of the country, and the individual members pursue their own diverging interests in their vocational, educational, religious, recreational, and political life.

This enlarged market is only in part supplied by the city’s hinterland; in large measure it is found among the large numbers that the city itself contains. They are, to be sure, dependent upon more people for the satisfactions of their life-needs than are rural people and thus are associated with a greater number of organized groups, but they are less dependent upon particular persons, and their dependence upon others is confined to a highly fractionalized aspect of the other’s round of activity.

This page was last edited on 18 Decemberat The characterization of a community as urban on the basis of size alone is obviously arbitrary In urban society people become more j individualistic, self-centred, selfish and so on. Homans Pitirim Sorokin Wilbert E.

Studies made in the s in Britain and North America suggested that urban populations developed close social networks based upon family, neighbourhood and work.

It has not only tolerated but rewarded individual differences. Thus the larger, the more densely populated, ov the more heterogeneous a community, the more accentuated the characteristics associated with urbanism will be. The diversity of social life springs from the size, density and heterogeneity of the population, extreme specialization of the various occupations and class structures existing in the larger communities.


Urbanism as a Way of Life: Concept and Characteristics

Ever since Aristotle’s politics, it has been recognized that increasing the number of inhabitants in a settlement beyond a certain limit will affect the relationships between them and the character of the city. Chicago University Presspp Place of work tends to become dissociated from place of residence, for the proximity of industrial and commercial establishments makes an area both economicany and socially undesirable for residential purposes.

The increased dominance of secondary relationships was believed to be a feature of urbanization. Thus, for instance, the low and declining urban-reproduction rates suggest that the city is not conducive to the traditional type of family life, including the rearing of children and the maintenance of the home as the locus of a whole round of vital activities.

Blackmar James Q. Just as the beginning of Western civilization is marked by the permanent settlement of formerly nomadic peoples in the Mediterranean basin, so the beginning of what is distinctively modern in our civilization is best signalized by the growth of great cities According to Wirth, marriage tends to be postponed, and the proportion of single people is growing, leading to isolation and less interaction. Mamoria is of the opinion that urbanism is a cultural- social-economic phenomenon which traces interaction between the social and technological processes.

On the subjective side, as Simmel has suggested, the close physical contact of numerous individuals necessarily produces a shift in the media through which we orient ourselves to the urban milieu, especially to our fellow-men.

The analogy with the Darwinian biological model of survival of the fittest was very strong and led to the search for ‘natural’ processes of urbanisation.

Louis Wirth – Wikipedia

Louuis to some, urbanism Indicate a wide acquaintance with things and people. Similarly, persons of homogeneous status and needs unwittingly drift into, consciously select, or are forced by circumstances into the same area. The urban people live close together but without emotional ties.