Material Type:
Community College / Lower Division, College / Upper Division
Ohio Open Ed Collaborative
Oss0212, Sociology
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0
Media Formats:

Discuss urbanization from various sociological perspectives


OER Text Material

Theoretical Perspectives on Urbanization, Chapter 20

The Human Ecology theory, and the concentric zone modal are used to explain urbanization. Human ecology which is a functionalist field of study looks at the relationship between people and their built and natural physical environments. According to this theory, urban land use and urban population distribution occur in a predictable pattern once we understand how people relate to their living environment. The concentric zone model views a city as a series of concentric circular areas, expanding outward from the center of the city, with various “zones” invading adjacent zones.

Supplementary Material (Videos and Reading)

AP Human Geography - Concentric Zone Model Review (Video)

This video starts with the basis of the concentric zone model. The presenter vividly explains the characteristics of the five rings. Availability and the cost of land influences the activities in each ring/zone.

Primary Models of Urban Growth in the U.S. (Video)

The presenter uses the concentric model, the sector model, and the multiple nuclei model to explain the growth and organization of US cities.

Sociological Perspectives on Urbanization

In this article, the three major sociological perspectives are used to explain and discuss urbanization. Functionalism places emphasis on the important functions cities serve for society. It also talks about the dysfunctions of cities/urban life. Conflict theory on the other hand, discusses how cities are run by political and economic elites that use their resources to enrich themselves and to take resources from the poor and people of color. The diversity of social backgrounds found in cities contributes to conflict over norms and values. Symbolic interactionism notes that city residents differ in their types of interaction and perceptions of urban life. Cities are not chaotic places but rather locations in which strong norms and values exist.