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SOC 410 Urban Sociology

Published : 02-Sep,2021  |  Views : 10


1) Explain and discuss the concept of the growth machine. What are the benefits and liabilities of the growth machine as applied in urban settings? Utilize Malones application of the growth machine within Jersey City in your reply.

2) Discuss the concept of urbanism as advanced by Wirth. Apply and explain the three sections of his model describing urban population. How does Wirth’s approach compare to Parks analysis of the city in the famous early 20th century essay?

3) Analyze the concept of urban planning and the influence of Le Coubusier on Moses and other noted urban planners. Analyze the influence of Robert Moses along with the strengths and weaknesses of his approach to urban planning. Compare Moses and Jacobs in regard to their concept of the city.

4) Discuss the political economic importance of Walmart as the nations largest retailer. What as the global impact of Walmart and its influence on manufacturers, factory workers and retail employees? Utilize Greenwalds video in discussing how the battle over Walmart in urban settings reflected the overall problems associated with the retailer.


1.Urban Growth Machine is a thesis based on urban politics, according to which the all over objective of growth unites for a whole cause of pluralistic interest. This theory states about the commodification of land. The entrepreneur and the organization share an interest in local growth of the land, which elevates the land values (Molotch 2011).

The main benefit of the Urban Growth Machine is that, it works on the way of increasing the allover economic growth of an urban setting as it objectifies and ultimately increases the price of the land. It ultimately increases the job placements within the city.

According to Molotch (2011), growth could be considered as a liability for the local residents financially, as it differs from the quality of life. It ultimately increases the number of residents, rather than improving the life style.

In Jersey City, the value of land is at its high because of the urban development happening there. This makes the entrepreneurs and businesspersons who want to develop their business in this city to attend the social meetings with the important representatives from the city whose support is required for the development of the project (Malone 2017).

2.Louis Wirth developed his own concept of Urbanism in 1938, when huge changes were happening in the cities as the people were moving into the city and the world was urbanizing rapidly. Wirth believed that, living in a city was the only way of modern life. He named four different characteristic of urbanism such as, heterogeneity, impersonality, anonymity and homogeny of behavior (Wirth 1964).

Urbanism can be approached from these three perspectives.

  • A system with a population base, ecological order and technology.
  • A social organizational system with ecological order, social structure, and social institution
  • A set of ideas and attitude, which works as tools of for social control.

All three parts of this model is necessary for urbanism as a city needs a population base, adequate social structure and ideas which makes the city livable for the people staying there.

According to Wirth, a city cannot be defined based on the number of the population. Urbanization is actually a cumulative accentuation of the all over mode of life which is directly associated with the growth of cities. Wirth and Park studied urbanization and made a strong analogy with Darwin’s survival model. Wirth further achieved a balance of ecological, individual and cultural forces (Park, Burgess, and McKenzie 1984).

3.Urban planning can be said as a technical process concerned with the use of land for a developmental purpose. It includes use of the land, protection of the land, permission for planning and use of the public welfare of urban development (Bloom 2014). One of the most noteworthy ideas Le Corbusier developed was the concept of “Towers in a Park. Influenced by La Corbusier, Moses always favored bulldozing the crowded areas and replacing them with high-rise projects.

Robert Moses planned to develop the New York City after the great depression. He planned new strategies to bright the city in light.

The strength of his approach was he wanted to reshape the whole city and expand it to the suburbs. The negative part of his approach was that he overlooked the inner infrastructure of the city, which actually needed the development. He did not care about the large number of lower-class urban people (Mennel, Steffens, and Klemek 2007).

Robert Moses’s concept illustrated the fact that cities were being demolished in the neighborhood to produce sky-high buildings and swanky roads. In addition to preserving the existing lives of lower and middle class people residing in New York, activist Jane Jacobs fought for the preservation of the Landmark of New York city. Jacob worked towards preservation of the city neighborhood (King 2013).

4.Wal-Mart delivers consumer products in America by producing extraordinary low cost. Their consumers are mainly youths, local native communities and the young professionals. They have maintained their relevance and importance for decades by providing the people with low cost goods (Bonanno and Goetz 2012).

Wal-Mart is hugely dependant on the low cost manufacturing of products in some countries like China and Taiwan. This led them to sack many employees, which ultimately has raised unemployment in the country while causing employment in the global market(Bonanno and Goetz 2012). Wal-Mart also provides low wages in order to provide the common people with low cost goods.

The video showed that how the people are now dependent on Wal-Mart as they produce low cost goods to the people and thus endorsing them even after knowing the fact that it is crushing the economy of the country.


Bloom, N.D., 2014. Public housing that worked: New York in the twentieth century. 2nd ed. University of Pennsylvania Press, pp. 128-151.

Bonanno, A. and Goetz, S.J., 2012. Walmart and local economic development: A survey. Economic Development Quarterly, 26(4), pp.285-297.

King, K., 2013. Jane Jacobs and ‘the need for aged buildings’: Neighbourhood historical development pace and community social relations. Urban Studies, 50(12), pp.2407-2424.

Malone, D., 2017. Growth Machine Politics and the False Promise of Jobs in Jersey City. Theory in Action, 10(1), p.32.

Mennel, T., Steffens, J. and Klemek, C. eds., 2007. Block by block: Jane Jacobs and the future of New York. Princeton Architectural Press.

Molotch, H., 2011. The City as a Growth Machine: Towards a Political Economy of Place. City Reader, pp.251-262.

Park, R.E., Burgess, E.W. and McKenzie, R.D., 1984. The city. University of Chicago Press.

Wirth L., 1964. Urbanism as a Way of Life. The American Journal of Sociology, 44(1), pp. 1-24.

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