University of Malta

Study-Unit Description
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TITLE Urban Society and Culture

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION The unit takes students through some of the key themes of urban theory, the emphasis being the synthesis of form and function. It also looks at the city as a lived multisensory experience. Specifically it discusses the Chicago school, Georg Simmel, urban discontinuities and emerging power faultlines, gating and other forms of segregation, urban movements (Cittaslow, New Urbanism, ect.) that seek to restore some idea of scale, as well as activities like parkour and place-hacking.

Study-unit Aims:

The unit aims to introduce students to some of the salient themes of urban theory and its methodological connotations within the discipline of sociology.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Appraise, in a critical way, some of the main ideas in the field;
- Understand some of the main contemporary dynamics of cities;
- Approach ethnographic research in the urban context.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Read, assess critically, and generally 'take apart' scholarly texts;
- Relate to social-scientific ideas in a grounded way;
- Relate to the dynamics of peer review and scholarly thought and writing.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

John Leighton Chase, "Everyday Urbanism" (2008)
Doreen Massey, "World City" (2007)
Doreen Massey, "For Space" (2005)
Sharon Zukin, "The Cultures of Cities" (1995)
Jan Lin (ed) "The Urban Sociology Reader" (2013)
Richard LeGates (ed.), "The City Reader" (2003)
Helen Jarvis, "Cities and Gender" (2009)
Mitchell Duneier (ed.) "The Urban Ethnography Reader" (2014)
Italo Calvino, "Invisible Cities" (1997)
J. Rykwert (2000), "The Seduction of Palace"
Saskia Sassen, "Cities in a World Economy" (1994)
J. Kotkin, "The City: A Global History" (2005)
Setha Low, "Theorizing the City" (1999)
Ulf Hannerz (1980), "Exploring the City"

Students are also provided with two reading packets that include reviews, journal articles, book chapters, and so on.


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (2 Hours) Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Mark Anthony Falzon

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.
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