From Chicago to L.A.: Making Sense of Urban Theory

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From Chicago to L.A. begins the task of defining an alternative agenda for urban studies and examines the case for shifting the focus of urban studies from Chicago to Los Angeles. The authors, experienced scholars from a variety of disciplines, examine:

  • The concepts that have blocked our understanding of Southern California cities
  • The imaginative structures that people have been using to understand and explain Los Angeles
  • The utility of the "Los Angeles School" of urbanism

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The book serves its purpose. It captures a range of the many landscapes that are Los Angeles, it presents a variety of perspectives on urban thought, and it leaves one with a sense about the L.A. School."

As the director of the U. of Southern California Studies Center, Dear argues that the "L.A. School" of urban sociology is displacing the "Chicago School" sparked by the 1925 U. of Chicago publication of by R.E. Park, et al. The Route 66 cover and song lyric excerpt reinforce this message. The editor's comments precede 16 contributions by California colleagues furthering his case by discussing the themes of the L.A. School; L.A. as the city of industry; reconsidering community (e.g., in light of immigration, street gangs, the Internet); and revisioning urban theory. Photos and maps exemplify the "demographic dynamism" of postmodern cities. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761920946
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 8/3/2001
  • Pages: 456
  • Product dimensions: 10.58 (w) x 6.84 (h) x 1.37 (d)

Table of Contents

The Resistible Rise of the Los Angeles School - Michael J Dear and Steven Flusty
Demographic Dynamism in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and Washington, DC - Dowell Myers
Los Angeles as Postmodern Urbanism - Michael J Dear and Steven Flusty
Industry and the Landscapes of Social Reform - Greg Hise
Los Angeles as a Developmental City-State - Steven P Erie
Industrial Urbanism in Late Twentieth-Cenctury Southern California - Allen J Scott
From Immigrants in the City, to Immigrant City - Jerome Straughan and Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo
The Globalization of Urban Homelessness - Madeleine R Stoner
'Play Groups' no Longer - Cheryl L Maxson & Malcom W Klein
Urban Sreet Gangs in the Los Angeles Region
Religion in Los Angeles - Donald E Miller
Patterns of Spiritual Practice in a Postmodern City
Ecologies of Cyberspace - J Dallas Dishman
Gay Communities on the Internet
Representing "Los Angeles" - Darnell M Hunt
Media, Space, and Place
Returning to Ecology - Ashwani Vasishth and David C Sloane
An Ecosystem Approach to Understanding the City
Urban Nature and the Nature of Urbanism - Jennifer Wolch, Stephanie Pincetl and Laura Pulido
Saber Y Conocer - Phillip J Ethington and Martin Meeker
The Metropolis of Urban Inquiry
The LA School - Michael J Dear
A Personal Introduction
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