Tag Archives: featured

ASA Conference Feature: Sweet Home

Source https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Philadelphia_cityscape_BW_20150328.jpg

Prentiss A. Dantzler
Colorado College
CUSS Newsletter, Summer 2018, Vol 30, No 3

Last time ASA was held in Philadelphia was 2005, the same year I graduated high school. A staple in urban sociology, Philly has undergone many significant changes since then. Being raised in West Philly, my younger years were quite different than that of the Fresh Prince. My childhood functioned somewhat between W.E.B. DuBois’ (1899) Philadelphia Negro and William Julius Wilson’s (1987) The Truly Disadvantaged. In a state of double consciousness, I constantly wondered (at least on a surface) why my neighborhood was the way it was. Countless other works within our field have helped me make sense of different aspects of my childhood. Why was my family adamant about sending me to Catholic school (even though they were not at all Catholic)? Why did I have to take 3 forms of transportation to get to high school while my peers drove in new cars and trucks? What happen to all of the public housing that stood tall in many of the Black neighborhoods? How did I make it out and why are others still in the same place? And better yet, why does “making it out” mean living in white spaces? As a late comer to sociology, the joys and perils of understanding these dynamics within community and urban sociology have largely shaped my reflection on the city of Brotherly Love – a place I still call home.

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Exploring Spatial Equity in Philadelphia through Public Transit and School Choice

Michael R. Scott
University of Texas, Austin

David T. Marshall
Auburn University

CUSS Newsletter, Summer 2018, Vol 30, No 3

As we prepare for spending a few days in Philadelphia at ASA this year, we wanted to share a bit of our research. David has lived and worked in Philadelphia for a few years, and Mike is from not far away and visits often. That said, it’s made for personally compelling research. Given that we are education researchers, our research specifically is on schools. Therefore, we hope this article gives a preview of Philadelphia through our research on the public schools and the public transportation system.

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Montreal as a Gateway-City: Value chains and municipal democracy

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CentrevilleMontreal%C3%A9t%C3%A9.jpg

Dorval Brunelle
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)
CUSS Newsletter, Summer 2017, Vol. 29, No 3.

This contribution should be read as a historical and sociological introduction to the city of Montreal for our American and Canadian guests attending the 112th ASA meeting here in August. But at the same time, the background here provided will be used to contextualize a research project comparing Montreal with three other Canadian cities (Halifax, Toronto and Vancouver) on their respective policies, programs and actions as gateway-cities. Among the questions raised, we want to know what is the role of the municipal government in this regard, the content of its policies and programs, which stakeholders are involved, and how these policies, programs and actions make their way through the filters of municipal democracy. Although a comparative study, only the Montreal segment will be presented.

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Conference Feature: Urban Cascadia

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Seattle_4.jpg

Ryan Centner
London School of Economics
CUSS Newsletter. Summer 2016. Vol 28. No. 3

For those of you attending the Seattle annual meetings: Welcome to the northwestern edge of the Americas – “Cascadia” – a region I am proud to call home, even though I currently live some 5,000 miles away in an increasingly provincial archipelago known as the British Isles. If this is your first encounter with the Pacific Northwest, you may be scratching your head. What is Cascadia? And how can someone so far away still consider it “home”? I aim to answer these questions while briefly conveying some of the distinctive features that define the three largest Northwestern cities of Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland (see map in Figure 1), including innovations and inequalities. Cascadia, to begin, is a somewhat contested term (Helm 1993; Smith 2008; Abbott 2009). As a regional moniker, clearly it references the Cascade Range of mountains that run from northern California up to southern British Columbia. Its vernacular origins derive from popular depictions of the Pacific Northwest as a kind of “ecotopia” (Callenbach 1975; Garreau 1981), reflecting both a unique landscape and unusual society-environment rela-tionship. Seattle-based sociologist David McCloskey (1988: n.p.) developed the notion of a cross-border bioregion, noting that:

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Conference Feature: Where is the Chicago Ghetto?

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chicago_north_from_John_Hancock_2004-11_img_2618.jpg

Ray Hutchison
University of Wisconsin­-Green Bay
CUSS Newsletter, Summer 2015, Vol. 27, No. 3

Ernest Burgess’s essay, “The Growth of the  City” presents us with one of the iconic images  in urban sociology and  beyond; the concentric zone model has been  reprinted in virtually every  textbook in urban geography, urban sociology, and  more. Burgess is clear  that the purpose of the  model (or chart, as he  labeled it) is to demonstrate the process of  neighborhood succession, a central concept for  the Chicago School: “In the expansion of the  city a process of distribution takes place which  sifts and sorts and relocates individuals and  groups by residence and  occupation. The resulting  differentiation of the cosmopolitan American city into areas is typically all  from one pattern, with  only interesting minor  modifications. Within the  central business district  or on an adjoining street  is the “main stem” of  “hobohemia,” the teeming  Rialto of the homeless  migratory man of the Middle West. In the zone of  deterioration encircling  the central business section are always to be  found the so­called  “slums” and “bad lands,”  with their submerged regions of poverty, degradation, and disease, and  their underworlds of  crime and vice. Within a  deteriorating area are  rooming­house districts,  the purgatory of “lost  souls.” Near by is the Latin Quarter, where creative and rebellious spirits  resort. The slums are  also crowded to overflowing with immigrant colonies—the Ghetto, Little  Sicily, Greektown, Chinatown—fascinatingly combining Old World heritages and American adaptations. Wedging out from  here is the Black Belt,  with its free and disorderly life.”

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Mile High City: Racial and Ethnic Dynamics

Lucy Dwight
University of Colorado-Denver
CUSS Newsletter, Summer 2012, Vol. 24, No. 3

Denver, the Mile High City, is located where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains. Though the area was used as a hunting ground for Native Americans for thousands of years and explored by the Spanish as early as the 16th century, it was the discovery of gold in nearby Pikes Peak that lead to permanent settlement by fortune seekers in 1858. Denver quickly became a regional center due to the Colorado Gold Rush and other extractive booms and busts that continued for well over a century. Although experiencing a major economic downturn and loss of population in the 1980s as the regional oil and gas industry collapsed along with the savings and loan debacle, Denver today is the largest city in Colorado and the Mountain West (denver.org 2012). Similar to other urban areas in the South and West, the greater Denver area has grown rapidly in the last few decades, increasing by 50% between 1990 and 2010, with more than 2.75 million residents in the metropolitan area today (Piton 2011). Denver’s core has grown rapidly as well, to over 600,000 residents, an increase of more than 25% since 1990, after experiencing several decades of population decline (census.gov 2012).

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