11.329 Social Theory and the City

Fall 2005

Philadelphia Odunde Festival, 2004.
The 2004 Odunde Festival on South Street in Philadelphia, PA illustrates one way that communities tie their identities to urban spaces. (Image courtesy of Annis Whitlow.)

Course Highlights

This course features a full set of notes from the class discussions as well as a complete list of recommended readings for the course.

Course Description

This course explores how social theories of urban life can be related to the city's architecture and spaces. It is grounded in classic or foundational writings about the city addressing such topics as the public realm and public space, impersonality, crowds and density, surveillance and civility, imprinting time on space, spatial justice, and the segregation of difference. The aim of the course is to generate new ideas about the city by connecting the social and the physical, using Boston as a visual laboratory. Students are required to present a term paper mediating what is read with what has been observed.
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Prof. Richard Sennett

Course Meeting Times

One session / week
2 hours / session