SOC 389L • URBANIZATION
This course surveys the urbanization process, focusing on less developed countries, but taking into account historical and contemporary processes in the developed world. Themes will include the comparative analysis of historical patterns of urbanization beginning with the Industrial Revolution of the end of the 18th Century, the components of urbanization, particularly rural-urban migration and its causes, ecological perspectives on the spatial hierarchy of cities within national and world economies, the internal spatial organization of cities, including issues of housing and socio-spatial segregation. We will also look at the spatial dimensions of urban labor markets and access to social services, such as health, education and welfare services. While the course adopts a broad comparative perspective, it also has a special focus on four countries, Brazil, China, India and Mexico. The Course will be organized through Blackboard with the use of the Class and Group Discussion Boards. Most of the readings for the course will be available via the Documents section of Blackboard or through Electronic Reserves (accessed by the external links section of Blackboard). The course grade will be based on weekly reports on the readings and a final research paper. Students may opt to take a mid-term take-home exam and a shorter final paper in place of a final research paper. Students are expected to read three articles/chapters (one required reading each week as specified in the weekly readins, a second chosen from the readings and one selected by the student, which is not in the readings). Reports on the readings will be posted to the Discussion Board of Blackboard, summarizing the main in a 1-2 page report to the Class Discussion Board. The take home examination will ask for answers (approximately 1500 words each) to three questions from a list of six choices. The final paper will be due by the 12th of May. The final paper should be a research article based on students using the perspectives learnt in the course to analyze comparatively a specific issue in urbanization (such as urban socio-spatial segregation, urban stratification and inequality, crime and violence, migration, the evolution of labor markets etc.). As part of the requirement of the course, students will be expected to select after the first meeting,countries and regions in which they will specialize. One of these countries must be Brazil, China, India or Mexico. Thereafter, each student will be expected to read an article/obtain statistics on that country for the theme of each week's seminar.