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SSN187 Urban Sociology

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Urban sociology

Urbanization is a process which is inevitable and has been taking place throughout the world. It has been associated with both positive and negative effects. It however important to note that the features of urbanism have some similarities with the traditional ways of living of that society (Chauvin, Juan Pablo, et al.p.19). Cities are considered to be a place where cultures, different people, and races merge together to form a hybrid of both culture as well as some biological aspects of life. Some of these resultant hybrids have positive while others have negative effects on the lives of the people. All in all, urbanism makes it possible for people of different ideologies and differences to tolerate one another. The author Louis Wirth has played a paramount role in seeking to understand the effects of urban growth. The author has highlighted several factors and their effects on the growth of urban environments.

Factors of growth in urban environment

The first factor is the social organization resulting from urbanism. In this case, social factors are converted from secondary to the primary state because the sense of neighborhood is lost. As a result of rural to urban migration in search of the world and other opportunities, the kinship ties are lost as families reside far apart. It is a common observation that majority of the adult-urban people are employed as compared to the adult-rural people. Moreover, urbanism results in a higher population of its people being in business, and professional work as opposed to the countryside (Louis, p. 4). The second factor is the size of the population aggregate resulting from an increased settlement of people in a certain place. The cultural and individual differences between these people result in spatial segregation on the basis of ethnicity, economic status, and color among other differences. Moreover, the urban dwellers meet one another specifically in segmental duties (Chauvin, Juan Pablo, et al.p.19). This is because these people depend on more people to meet their needs as opposed to the rural people. Another factor described by Louis Wirth is the aspect of voluntary associations which plays a critical role in urbanism. Voluntary association enables different people to negotiate and come up with new values to facilitate their relationship with one another.


The problems associated with social organizations is that people tend to associate with people of their social interest and class. This has led to weakened family ties as people are very busy making ends meet. Moreover, there are little communication between people of different class leading to low level of socialization. According to Muggah, Robert. P.356, another problem linked to urban growth is insecurity, due to differences between the rich and the poor. There are people who get frustrated in life because they may not get the opportunities in urban centers. Such people may hence engage in criminal activities to earn a living (Thuo Aggrey, p.77). Voluntary association is linked to anomie, whereby there is a lack of social and ethical standards for an individual or groups resulting from urbanism.  

Solutions for problems linked to growth

To counter the problems of population growth, people need to have access to education to open more opportunities for them. Education makes people take advantage of innovative technologies to earn a living. Family planning should also be introduced to control population upsurge which is linked to poverty and overdependence

Cited Work

Chauvin, Juan, et al. “What is different about urbanization in rich and poor countries? Cities in Brazil, China, India and the United States. “journal of Urban Economic, 98, (2017): 17-49.

Louis, W. “Urbanization as a way of life”. American Journal of Sociology, 44, (1938): 1-24.

Muggah, Robert. “deconstructing the fragile city: exploring insecurity, violence and resilience”. Journal of Environment and Urbanization, 26, 2, (2014): 345-358.

Thuo Aggrey, “Impacts of urbanization on land use planning, livelihood and environment in the Nairobi rural-urban fringe, Kenya”. International Journal of Science Technology Research, 2, (2013): 7

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