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City Life

by Adrian Franklin SAGE Publications Ltd
Pub Date:
05/2010
ISBN:
9780761944768
Format:
Pbk 256 pages
Price:
AU$99.00 NZ$103.48
Product Status: In Stock Now
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Available as eBook
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Cities are more important as cultural entities than their mere function as dormitories and industrial sites. Yet, the understanding of what makes a city ‘alive’ and appealing in cultural terms is still hotly contested - why are some cities so much more interesting, popular and successful than others? In this engaging discussion of ‘city life’ Adrian Franklin takes the reader on a tour of contemporary western cities exploring their historical development and arguing that it is the transformative, ritual and performative qualities of successful cities that makes a difference.

Here is a new urban culture characterized by ecological frames of reference; tracking the making of contemporary city life from traditional times, through early modern, mechanic and modernised stages of development.

Adopting dynamic narrative structures and stories to develop its critical position this book creates a vibrant synthesis of city life from its key components:

* leisure and tourism,
* recreation and play,
* arts and culture,
* nature and environment and
* architecture and public space

Emphasising the importance of experience the book represents the fluid complexity of the city as a living space, an environment and a posthumanist space of transformation. It will be of interest to all those engaging with the difficulties of urban life in sociology, human geography, tourism and cultural studies departments.

‘City Life grabs you by collar and draws you deep into the sensuous heartland of the western cityscape. Franklin means `life’ literally. This is not only an account of the human hopes, desires, obsessions and follies that animate bricks and mortar, but of all the diverse creatures that join in the urban adventure. Rattling along with the pace and eloquence of good novel, you hardly realise how much social and urban theory you are taking in along the way. This is what learning should be like’
- Nigel Clark, Open University

‘A sweeping treatment of cities from Roman to contemporary times, this book highlights the powerful forces that shape cities – transforming them from traditional cities of culture and commerce, to modernist cities of industry and work, to today’s post-modern cities of spectacle and consumerism – and just on the horizon – to cities of ecological integrity and human-animal coexistence for which we all long’
- Jennifer Wolch, University of California, Berkeley

Introduction PART ONE: BECOMING CITIES The Traditional City The Machinic City The Solid Modern City I The Solid Modern City II The Dysfunctional City? PART TWO: MAKING CITY LIFE The Ecological City City Lifestyle Cities of Spectacle and Carnival City Natures Rites de Renaissance

Adrian Franklin's City Life is a successful attempt to make sense of the city and therefore a welcome and to an extent refreshing contribution to the academic literature on cities... Well-argued and well-written, immersed in the literature and often thought-provoking, Adrian Franklin's City Life is a worthy and welcome contribution to the literature on cities.

Adrian Franklin is Professor of Sociology at the School of Sociology and Social Work, University of Tasmania, Australia. Professor Franklin is also a presenter and panellist on the ABC Television program Collectors.