City Life

Course Code: SOCI 3010

Academic Year: 2021-2022

As a result of their magnetic attraction, cities concentrate people, money and power so that now three out of four North Americans live within their confines. What began as the natural growth of settlements around agriculture evolved into regional market towns and has now transformed into a space where millions live and struggle and work and play. The city has been thought to offer a completely different form of life from that offered in alternate spaces like the country. This course will investigate the character of urban form and experience by inquiring into the city's particularity and its divergent shapes. The city has been celebrated for making possible the figure of the cosmopolitan, who took pleasure in the encounter with strangers. In its more recent forms, the city has been remade as both a pleasure garden and a fortress, necessitating both the free mobility of capital and the increasing surveillance of its citizens. The work of this course will be to raise the question of the form of the city, to consider its strengths and its limits and its influence on human social relations and experience. This course will examine how it feels to live in cities and how different cities encourage different experiences among its citizens. Students are expected to utilize different theoretical texts to reflect on their own experience of the city. Category and Level: Society, Culture and Commerce, Upper Level Restrictions: None Note: Students benefit from taking a lower level course in the Society, Culture and Commerce category prior to enrolling in this upper level course.