Urban America Chapter 4 Summary

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Throughout this weeks reading on Chapter 4, we focus in on the Progressive Era and the establishment of urban America. The industrial revolution was at its peak and the United States was developing rapidly. Immigration, manufacturing output, and urban development grew faster than any other time in the nation’s history. Not only that, but scientific developments changed lives and revolutionary theories challenged traditional beliefs. As Rury suggests, “ . . . it is probably safe to say that there was a greater degree of social change at the point than any other, simply because of the magnitude of economic expansion an population movement” (Rury 136). It was a time of globalization, when there was movement around the world on an unprecedented scale. Even when compared to …show more content…

Due to the rapid population growth and social differentiation, social bonds loosened and long-standing relationships weakened. Social cohesion, which formerly existed within cities, was no longer prominent. “Chicago sociologist Louis Wirth noted that life in the biggest cities was marked by a loss of community. People no longer knew their neighbors and others in the community” (Rury 138). There was no longer a connection with others that once existed in towns and neighborhoods. Relations became impersonal and any potential for social capital was dissolute. In urbanized areas, people were known by their occupation or social status, rather than as individuals. In booming cities, such as New York City, people would form distinctive residential territories. This would draw in people from specific religions and ethnicities. This is comparable to New York City today, where we have ethnic-based neighborhoods and culturally unique communities such as Little Italy and Chinatown. It’s interesting when you learn about how such cities developed and led to these monumental sectors

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