November 2012, Polity
This book is a fresh and engaging analysis of the city as a central concept in contemporary social thought. It probes the contested and negotiated ways in which cities are built, understood, lived and imagined. Taking a thematic approach and drawing on a range of theoretical, methodological and empirical points of reference, it examines such subjects as urban inequality, public space, creative cities, globalization, the night-time economy, suburbia, and memory and emotion.
In The City Deborah Stevenson argues that, as theories and concepts shape what is known about cities and urban life, it is necessary to build conceptual frameworks that engage with the intersections and tensions between urban processes and trends, as well as with the complexities of everyday urban life.
This book’s combination of original insight and critical synthesis will make it an invaluable contribution for an international, interdisciplinary readership of students and scholars in sociology, geography, urban studies and wider social science and the humanities.
Chapter 1: Theoretical City: Concepts and Frameworks
Chapter 2: Material City: Economies and Inequalities
Chapter 3: Everyday City: Diversity and Predictability
Chapter 4: Dark City: Regulation and Stimulation
Chapter 5: Emotional City: Memory, Belief and Passion
Chapter 6: Global City: Hierarchies and the Urban ‘Other'
Chapter 7: Imagined City: Visions and Brands
Chapter 8: Concepts of the City and Beyond
Deborah Stevenson is Professor of Sociology and Urban Cultural Research in the Institute for Culture and Society at the University of Western Sydney.
- A thematic examination of core issues and trends in urban life today, such as the way in which cities are built, experienced, understood and governed.
- Weaves together contemporary urban theory, diverse bodies of thought and case examples, as well as intriguing original research findings.
- Examples are drawn from around the world to examine the city in different national and local contexts as well as different historical and political moments.
- Brings a rich sociological lens to the study of ‘what is the city?’, but also draws on insights from other fields such as cultural studies and human geography.
"An engaging and rewarding read."
"Concise yet authoritative, The City provides an accessible overview of current debates in urban sociology, with excellent coverage of questions of emotion and encounter in the everyday city. Situating such issues in the context of urban global processes, Deborah Stevenson provides a remarkable range of case studies which illuminate and intrigue."
Phil Hubbard, University of Kent
"Drawing together interdisciplinary insights from across sociology, geography and urban studies more generally, this clear and highly readable book provides a series of engaging and informative cuts on the contemporary urban condition as material, imagined and lived. Its multi-focal lens and interdisciplinary frame will make it a valuable resource for urban scholars and students alike."
Pauline McGuirk, University of Newcastle, Australia
"Deborah Stevenson’s overview of the contemporary city is both impressive and enlightening. Her ability to stand back from the welter of ideas and empirical analyses of the present-day city, in both the global North and South, and to identify the main themes and issues surrounding their development, makes this book an essential read for those wanting to gain an overall appreciation of the urban condition."
Ronan Paddison, University of Glasgow