The City as object of contemporary social theory

 Mimes x office document icon PROGRAMME: Undergraduate
SEMESTER: 5th / 7th semester
CATEGORY: Elective
ERASMUS : Not available
INSTRUCTOR: Ch. Mitsopoulou
ΚΩΔΙΚΟΣ 110537  

Which is the relationship between “civitas”/city and “urbs”-“urban”? How could one theorise the fact that the terms “politics” and “civilization” are produced by the term ”polis”/”city”? What is the connection between “urban” and “bourgeois”, so evident in the greek version of these terms? Is the “metropolis”, or alternatively the contemporary big city, just one more chain in the history of the city, or does it constitute a rupture within this history, which could furthermore contribute to the explanation of the so-called “spatial turn” characterizing the 20th century? In what sense the indubitable contemporary “urbanization” of society could be also conceived as “end of the city”?
Such questions form the field within which the course will move, to the effect that the course will investigate the modern changes which explain the historicity of the emergence of “the city” as central problem in contemporary social theory and, at the same time, the bringing forth, within this theory, of the political significance of space.
In the context of this investigation, landmarks to be discussed are the approaches of: Max Weber, Georg Simmel, Robert Park (Chicago School), Walter Benjamin and Henri Lefebvre, having also first discussed the treatment of the city in the Marxian thought, intervention to, and enrichment of, which are more or less Benjamin’s and Lefebvre’s approaches.


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