Sociology-Four Images of Organized Diversity

Bazaar, Jungle, Organism, and Machine
  • Peter Langer
Part of the Environment, Development, and Public Policy book series (EDPC)


Although Wirth’s statement has been extensively quoted, much of the impact of its imagery of the city has been overlooked. The words that have been italicized in the quotation point to a particular urban imagery that has led to an emphasis on certain types of research and to a deemphasis on other approaches to the city.


Social Unit Sociological Analysis Macroscopic Approach Diverse Element Network Analyst 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Louis Wirth, On Cities and Social Life, ed. Albert J. Reiss, Jr. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964), 68. (Italics added.)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    For a discussion of the importance of the concept of community in sociological analysis, see Robert A. Nisbet, The Sociological Tradition (New York: Basic Books, 1966).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Robert E. Park, Ernest W. Burgess, and Roderick D. McKenzie, The City (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1967), 1.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Max Weber, The City, trans. and ed. by Don Martindale and Gertrud Neuwirth (New York: Free Press, 1958).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Georg Simmel, Conflict and the Web of Group Affiliations, trans. Kurt H. Wolff and Reinhard Bendix (New York: Free Press, 1955), 138. For an excellent discussion of the dualistic nature of Simmel’s sociology, see the introduction by Donald N. Levine to Georg Simmel, On Individuality and Social Forms, ed. Donald N. Levine (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1971).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Simmel, Conflict,148–149.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    lhid., 150–151.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Major works that have shaped the network perspective are Elizabeth Bott, Family and Social Network (London: Tavistock, 1957); and J. Clyde Mitchell, ed., Social Networks in Urban Situations (Manchester: Manchester University Press), 1–50. Two of the best contemporary network analyses are Claude Fischer et al., Networks and Places (New York: Free Press, 1977); and Barry Wellman, “The Community Question: The Intimate Network of East Yorkers,” American Journal of Sociology, 84 (March 1979):1201–1231.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Sociological Inquiry 43 (Dec. 1973):57–88.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    One of the few discussions of this critical distinction is by Hans Paul Bahrdt, “Public Activity and Private Activity as Basic Forms of City Association,” in Perspectives on the American Community, ed. Roland Warren (Chicago: Rand McNally, 1961), 78–85.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Georg Simmel, The Sociology of Georg Simmel, trans. and ed., Kurt H. Wolff (New York: Free Press, 1951), 415. For an attempt to test Simmel’s ideas empirically, see Stanley Milgram, “The Experience of Living in Cities,” Science 167 (March 1970):1461–1468.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Lyn Lofland, A World of Strangers: Order and Action in Urban Public Space (New York: Basic Books, 1973), 17–32.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Goffman, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1959); Coffman, Behavior in Public Places (New York: Free Press, 1963).Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    “Privatizing public space” is a phrase used by Lofland, ibid., 118–157. See also Sherri Cavan, “Interaction in Home Territories,” Berkeley Journal of Sociology 8 (1963):17–32.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    One of the best of the early Chicago studies is Harvey Zorbaugh, The Gold Coast and the Slum (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1929).Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Jungle imagery has often been connected with a concern about crime in the city, as in Robert Cooley Angell, “The Moral Integration of American Cities, II,” American Journal of Sociology 80 (Nov. 1974):607–629. The classic work of the Chicago school on crime is Clifford R. Shaw and Henry D. McKay, Juvenile Delinquency and Urban Areas (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1942).Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Herbert Spencer, On Social Evolution, ed. J. D. Y. Peel (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1972), 57.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Functionalism,“ in A History of Sociological Analysis, ed. Tom Bottomore and Robert Nisbet (New York: Basic Books, 1978), 327–328.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    I bid., 335.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Durkheim, The Division of Labor in Society, trans. George Simpson (New York: Free Press, 1933).Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Roland L. Warren, The Community in America, 3rd ed. (Chicago: Rand McNally, 1978), 52–95.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Pp. 325–326.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Selected Writings in Sociology and Social Philosophy, ed. T. B. Bottomore and Maximilien Rubel (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1956), 97. Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Alex Ganz and Thomas O’Brien, “The City: Sandbox, Reservation, or Dynamo?” Public Policy 21 (Winter 1973):107–123. Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    American Journal of Sociology 82 (Sept. 1976):309–332. Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Ibid., 309. For other works from this perspective see William K. Tabb and Larry Sawers, eds., Marxism and the Metropolis (New York: Oxford University Press, 1978); David Harvey, Social Justice and the City (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1973); and Manuel Castells, The Urban Question (Cambridge: M.I.T. Press, 1977). For a very different use of machine imagery, see Christine L. Fry, “The City as a Commodity: The Age-Graded Case,” Human Organization 36 (Summer 1977):115–123.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Middletown (New York: Harcourt Brace and World, 1929), 23–24.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Robert F. Lynd and Helen Merrell Lynd, Middletown in Transition: A Study in Cultural Conflicts (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1937).Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    f the contemporary network analysts, Wellman (op. cit.) and Fischer (op. cit.) are most aware of the static quality of much network analysis. Wellman’s work in progress is developing more dynamic approaches to urban networks. 30Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press, 1947.Google Scholar
  30. 31.
    Kevin Lynch, The Image of the City (Cambridge: M.I.T. Press, 1960).Google Scholar
  31. 32.
    The Social Construction of Communities (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1972), 22. Also see Suttles, The Social Order of the Slum (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968).Google Scholar
  32. 33.
    Suttles, Social Construction, 233–268. A critical theoretical discussion of these issues is in Herman Schmalenbach, “The Sociological Category of Communion,” in Theories of Society, ed. Talcott Parsons et al. (New York: Free Press, 1961), Vol. I, pp. 331–347.Google Scholar
  33. 34.
    “The Loss of Community: An Empirical Test through Replication,” American Sociological Review 40 (Oct. 1975):546; see also Hunter, Symbolic Communities (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1974).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Langer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyBoston UniversityBostonUSA

Personalised recommendations