Louis Wirth (August 28, – May 3, ) was an American sociologist and member of the His interests included city life, minority group behaviour and mass media and he is recognised as one of the leading urban sociologists. Wirth writes that urbanism is a form of social organisation that is harmful to culture , and. Louis Wirth posits similar reasons for the differences in the urban and rural milieu as does Georg Simmel. Wirth argues that the shift between. Louis Wirth has mentioned four characteristics of urban system or urbanism Following Louis Wirth, Urbanism is a way of life, is characterised by extensive.

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Urbanism as a way of life

The dominance of the city over the surrounding hinterland becomes explicable in terms urbanis the division of labor which urban life occasions and promotes. Hence we should not expect to find abrupt and discontinuous variation between urban and rural types of personality. On the basis of the postulates which this minimal definition suggests, a theory of urbanism may be formulated in the light of existing knowledge concerning social groups.

Urbanism is a category of relevant element terms. According to Morris Janowitz, Sociologists have failed to take into consideration those impressive degrees and patterns of local community life exist within metropolitan limits.

Urbanization no longer denotes merely the process by which persons are attracted to urganism place called urbabism city and incorporated into its system of life.

Sewell William J. Wirth was a supporter of applied sociologyand believed in taking the knowledge offered by his discipline and using it to solve real social problems. Louis Wirth August 28, — May 3, was an American sociologist and member of the Chicago school of sociology.

The analogy with the Darwinian biological model of survival of the fittest was very strong and led to the search for ‘natural’ processes of urbanisation.

We must also infer that urbanism will assume its most characteristic and extreme form in the measure in which the conditions with which kf is congruent are present.


Were zs not for the attraction and suggestions that the city exerts through these instrumentalities upon the rural population, the differences between the rural and the urban modes of life2 would he even greater than they are.

Ever since Aristotle’s politics, it has been recognized that increasing the number of inhabitants in a settlement beyond a certain limit will affect the relationships between them and the character of the city. Lundberg Rupert B.

Urbanism as a Way of Life: Concept and Characteristics

Louis Wirth August 28, — May 3, The dominance of the city, especially of the great city, may be regarded as a consequence of the concentration in cities of industrial, commercial, financial, and administrative facilities and actvities, transportation and communication lines, and cultural and recreational equipment such as the press, radio stations, theaters, libraries, museums, concert halls, operas, hospitals, colleges, research and publishing centers, professional organizations, and religious and welfare institutions.

Generally, a larger proportion of the adult-urban population is gainfully employed than is the case with the adult-rural population. Families are smaller and more frequently without children than in the country. In viewing urban-industrial and rural-folk society as ideal types of communities, we may obtain a perspective for the analysis of the basic models of human association as they appear in contemporary civilization.

Without rigid adherence to predictable routines a large compact society would scarcely be able to maintain itself. Urbanism is a special concept which Inherits within itself all the characters connected with Urbanization and the urban way of life.

The term generally denotes the diffusion of urban culture and the evolution of urban society. Park Ernest Burgess W. Studies made in the s in Britain and North America suggested that urban populations developed close social networks based upon family, neighbourhood and work.

The white-collar class, comprising those employed in trade, in clerical, and in professional work, are proportionately more numerous in large cities and in metropolitan centers and in smaller towns than in the country The operations of the pecuniary nexus lead to predatory relationships, which tend to obstruct the efficient functioning of the social order unless checked by professional codes and occupational etiquette.


In modern industrialised society, urbanism has become the predominant way of life. Hayes James P. To a greater or lesser degree, therefore, worth social life bares the imprint of an earlier folk society, the characteristic modes of settlement of which were the farm, the manor, and the village. It has not only tolerated but rewarded individual differences.

Self-government either in the economic, or political, or the cultural realm is under these circumstances reduced to a mere figure ufbanism speech, or, at best, is subject to the unstable equilibrium of pressure groups.

Presidents of the American Sociological Association. Homans Pitirim Sorokin Wilbert E. Urbanism as a characteristic mode of life may be approached empirically from three interrelated perspectives: It is a developing concept as the urban life pattern Itself, as it appears, is airth developing and constantly changing phenomena.

Urbanism as a Way of Life: Concept and Characteristics

This is essentially what is meant by saying that the city is characterized by secondary rather than primary contacts6. While the city has broken down the rigid caste lines of preindustrial society, it has sharpened and differentiated income and status groups. In recent years the associational culture of towns has been related to the notion of civil society, – that is the area of social behaviour which mediates between the individual and the prescriptive agencies of state and family.

The advantage that the corporation has over the individual entrepreneur and the partnership in the urban-industrial world derives not only from the possibility it affords of centralizing the resources of thousands of individuals or from the legal privilege of limited liability and perpetual succession, but from the fact that the corporation has no soul. Furthermore, the greater the number of individuals participating in a process of interaction, the greater is the potential differentiation between them.