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Revisiting the City: The Relevance of Urban Sociology Today

Events since the 1990s, with the advent of globalisation and the information and communication technology revolution in particular, have had a profound impact on cities around the world and have rejuvenated academic interest in the urban question. This paper makes a case for revisiting the city from a sociological perspective. Laying emphasis on the distinction between "locale" and "milieu" and on the community-cosmopolitanism dialectic in urban areas, it elucidates thematics for an urban sociology today. The paper further considers areas for empirical investigation, such as issues of citizenship and cyberspace, in the light of this dialectic. It concludes with a brief discussion on methodological considerations in studying the city.

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Revisiting the City: The Relevance of Urban Sociology Today

N Jayaram

Events since the 1990s, with the advent of globalisation and the information and communication technology revolution in particular, have had a profound impact on cities around the world and have rejuvenated academic interest in the urban question. This paper makes a case for revisiting the city from a sociological perspective. Laying emphasis on the distinction between “locale” and “milieu” and on the community-cosmopolitanism dialectic in urban areas, it elucidates thematics for an urban sociology today. The paper further considers areas for empirical investigation, such as issues of citizenship and cyberspace, in the light of this dialectic. It concludes with a brief discussion on methodological considerations in studying the city.

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