Sociation Today ® 
The Official 
Journal of 
The North 
Association: A 
Refereed Web-Based 
ISSN 1542-6300
Editorial Board:
George H. Conklin,
 North Carolina
 Central University

Rebecca Adams,

Bob Davis,
 North Carolina
 Agricultural and
 Technical State

Catherine Harris,
 Wake Forest

Ella Keller,
 State University

Ken Land,
 Duke University

Miles Simpson,
 North Carolina
 Central University

Ron Wimberley,
 N.C. State University

Robert Wortham,
 North Carolina
 Central University

Editorial Assistants

John W.M. Russell,

Austin W. Ashe,
 Duke University

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Outline of Urban Articles
Reprinted from
Sociation Today
  1. Exploring Accessibility Verses Opportunity Crime Factors 
    by Elizabeth Davison and William Smith
      People often wonder why urban crime rates are higher than those in rural areas or small towns.  Davison and Smith look at opportunity and accessibility as factors which make people more likely to be victims in urban areas. A multivariate analysis controls for several significant socio-economic variables. See also article #2 below for a map of the crime incidents discussed. . 
  2. The Relationship Between Crime and Urban Location in Raleigh, North Carolina 
    by Elizabeth Davison and William Smith
      Spatial analysis, demonstrated by a map, shows the strong relationship between crime and urban location in Raleigh, North Carolina. Urban design has a powerful influence on crime incidence.  
  3. Reassessing the Effect of Urbanism and Regionalism:  A Comparison of Different Indicators of Racial Tolerance 
    by J. Scott Carter 
      Louis Wirth developed the concept of urbanism as a way of life.  Urbanism has its drawbacks, since urban life is seen as making human relationships brief, segmented and transitory.  But urbanism has promised benefits, namely urbanites are supposed to be more tolerant.  But are urbanites more tolerant?  Using GSS data, it is shown that southern parts of the United States are less racially tolerant than the rest of the nation, but that urbanism itself only poorly predicts attitudes of tolerance, depending on the measurement.
  4. Urban Organization and Planning in the Post-Industrial City: An Editorial and Introduction to the Spring 2006 Issue of Sociation Today 
    by George H. Conklin 
      2006 is the year that the world as a whole becomes over half urban, yet no longer is the city the home of the industrial factory in the Western world.  What shape should the new city take in the information age?  Are we following an obsolete model when we plan in the Western world for a "new urbanism?"  Does suburbanization have to fade away to promote racial justice?  Why has urbanization concentrated poverty in the rural areas?  We must re-examine these areas as sociologists and question past assumptions. 
  5. The Poor Rural Areas That Must Support "The Cities of the Future"  
    by Ronald C. Wimberley and Libby V. Morris 
      Cities have exported poverty to rural areas, yet we forget that cities do not exist in nature.  Sociologists and others often seem to forget that.  Cities are a product of social behavior.  Neither do cities exist in self-sustained vacuums unto themselves.  Cities are dependent and interdependent with rural areas and through forms of social interaction that link people living in urban and rural areas.  While cities are a product of social behavior, they are dependent upon natural resources.  It is from rural areas that the natural resources which sustain cities are produced and extracted.
  6. Suburban Sprawl, Racial Segregation and Spatial Mismatch in Metropolitan America 
    by Charles Jaret, Robert M. Adelman, and Lesley Williams Reid 
      Using multivariate models and newly available measures to measure Smart Growth, the issue of whether Smart Growth will help reduce racial separation is asked.  Among the multiple findings is that metro areas with equal percentages of population living in the suburbs (and with other variables controlled), the ones with more sprawl (i.e. lower densities, long unconnected streets) have less black-white residential segregation. 
  7. Land Use Planning and the Consequences of Smart Growth 
    by Bob Jentsch 
      Smart Growth is a current buzzword which implies that all growth is good if it is planned.  But urban planning usually fails because it concentrates on each city as the center of its own universe, starting with a downtown and working out.  This is unrealistic but common, really a misapplication of the concentric zone theory of the early industrial city to the modern world.   The author began his career as a planner with the Pruitt-Igoe project in St. Lewis and uses that as one example of why planning failed then as it continues to do so today. 
  8. We Shouldn't Have to Move Out to Move Up
    by Denise Hester 
      One of the assumptions of the New Urbanism is that cities need to encourage increased density near the core.  That means that infill becomes a planning goal to increase density. But that also means that current residents have to move out so others can move in.  As a community activist, Hester argues that such planning practices are racist, part of the next racial agenda. 
  9. Gentrification, Displacement and New Urbanism: The Next Racial Project 
    by Olivia Hetzler, Veronica E. Medina, and David Overfelt
      Cities today are trying to reinvent themselves using buzzwords like the New Urbanism.  New Urbanist policies have generated more positive economic outcomes for cities than past gentrification policies have ever been able to accomplish by focusing on the "best and highest use."  However, the consequences of this policy on the resident (and frequently minority) populations have barely received attention.  This inattention is not accidental since the conservative vocabulary hides racial issues behind new terminology. 
  10. Race, Immigration and Economic Restructuring in New Urbanism:  New Orleans as a Case Study  
    by Olivia Hetzler, Veronica E. Medina, and David Overfelt 
      Scholars tend to discuss gentrification in a colorblind fashion which suggests that gentrification is solely a classed process.  It is not.  In this article, we move our attention away from a discussion on the colorblind features of New Urbanism to focus on how the shift from an industrial economy to a post-industrial service economy in New Urban "World Cities" creates a push that drives local minorities away from the city and a pull that draws new stakeholders into the city. 
  11. Disparity in Academic Achievement Between Black and White Students in the Wake County Public School System of North Carolina 
    by Patricia Moore Watkins
      Since the desegregation of public schools in the 1950s, studies have been conducted to determine why Blacks lag behind Whites academically. Efforts to understand the racial disparities in school performance continue, and some studies indicate this may be due to neighborhood differences. According to this study, the characteristics of urban neighborhood and school have profound effects on students' academic success or failure. The students' characteristics have more of an effect on students' test scores as opposed to the neighborhood's characteristics. 
  12. Southern (Dis)Comfort?: Latino Population Growth, Economic Integration and Spatial Assimilation in North Carolina Micropolitan Areas 
    byAna-María González Wahl 
      This paper examines more closely the growth and assimilation of the Latino population in non-metropolitan areas across North Carolina.  More specifically, the analysis focuses on micropolitan areas. Based on the last decennial census, micropolitan areas were newly defined by the Census Bureau to reflect the growing importance of "urban clusters" located in non-metropolitan counties. The study finds that North Carolina represenets an important exception to the patterns uncovered in nationwide studies, which tie Latino growth in non-metropolitan areas to growth in the manufacturing sector. 
  13. Building a Bohemian Boom Town: The Construction of a 'Creative Class' in Asheville, North Carolina 
    by Mary LaRue Scherer
      Asheville North Carolina is currently on the radar for developers, tourists, young couples and retirees looking for the perfect place to relocate. As a result of the development, sleek new buildings are popping up downtown and sidewalks are expanding to accommodate outdoor cafes and more and more visitors.  This is occurring in a non-industrial city dependent on hype to attract newcomers with significant money.  An examination of how this is happening is presented along with interviews of significant players in Asheville's development patterns to show how people pretty much tend to buy into the marketing of their hometown by the development community using the concept of the economy of the mind.  The case-study approach is used.
  14. Succession and Renewal in Urban Neighborhoods: The Case of
    Coney Island 

    by Raymond M. Weinstein
      Sociologists for some time have used the concepts of succession and renewal to describe two different, but sometimes complementary, processes of neighborhood change in urban areas.  Coney Island has long been famous as an amusement area popular in New York City, but today the area has fallen on hard times.  Developers want to tear down the amusement area of  Coney Island and replace it with condos for the well-to-do.  This process is discussed in light of classic sociological theories of urban change and renewal. 
  15. Tocqueville in New Orleans: Before and After Katrina 
    by Edward A. Tiryakian 
      Tocqueville is famous for his observations about American culture in 1832, the year he visited New Orleans for one full day before moving on to finish his book Democracy in America.   A great deal can be learned in one day, a feat replicated by the author in studying the flood damage to New Orleans following  the 2005 hurricane Katrina. 
  16. Household Bridging and Bonding Social Capital:  Do "New Urbanism" Characteristics Make a Difference? 
    by David E. Redburn and Kenneth Peterson 
      The relationship between social capital and neighborhood characteristics is the central focus of this study.  We examine how the two types of social capital, "bonding" and "bridging" might be related to to the so-called "New Urbanism" traits found in some neighborhoods.  Variables gender, having children under 18, education and marital status are related to levels of social capital.  In addition, some evidence suggests that levels of social capital are correlated with the presence of of "New Urbanist" traits in neighborhoods. 
  17. Savannah Homicides in a Century of Change: 1896 to 1903 and 1986 to 1993 
    by Vance McLaughlin and Richard R. E. Kania 
      This study examines homicides in two 8-year periods, 90 years apart, in Savannah, Georgia, using pre-UCR homicide data from multiple public records sources for the early period and detailed police reports to augment the Uniform Crime Reports in the later period.  The study finds significant changes in male homicide frequencies and rates, with Euro-American perpetrated homicides declining dramatically while Afro-American homicide rates increased somewhat between the two periods.  There was also a steep decline in police use of deadly force in the later period.  The Euro-American homicide data call into question the validity of the concept of  a persistent "Southern Culture of Violence." 
  18. New Orleans: The Long-Term Demographic Trends 
    by Carl L. Bankston III
      The City of New Orleans is frequently portrayed as an urban center that underwent great changes following the damage wrought by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and much of the attention given to the city has dealt with its revival and reconstruction following the storm.  But what has been ignored has been the long-term decline in the population of New Orleans.  If this view is taken, New Orleans is currently about where the population would have been expected to be even without Hurricane Katrina's damages to the community. 


  19. City Size and Human Behavior: A Review Article
    by George H. Conklin
      Humans are influenced by their environments, whether we realize it or not in daily life.  B. F. Skinner, for example, states we control human behavior the same way we control animal behavior:  by manipulating the environment, similar in concept to Louis Wirth's notion of urban size and density.  In this review, a signficant article on urban size and civic participation is reviewed as part of Sociation Today's effort to bring to light important articles which should receive further reading. 
  20. Population Growth, Density and the Costs of Providing Public Services: A Review Article 
    by George H. Conklin
      The article Population Growth, Density and the Costs of Providing Public Services by Helen Ladd is reviewed as part of Sociation Today's effort to bring to light important articles which should receive further reading. It seems that the social effects of density are non-linear. At very low levels of population density, a small increase in density lowers the costs of providing services. But at anything more than minimal levels of density, more density means more cost to provide services. The J-curve shows that density is non-linear in its social effects. 
  21. The Impact of Density: The Importance of Nonlinearlity and Selection on Flight and Fight Responses: A Review Article 
    by George H. Conklin
      The article "The Impact of Density" by Wendy C. Regoeczi is reviewed as part of Sociation Today's effort to place focus on important articles relating to core social science concepts.  The effects of density on human behavior may have been underreported in the past due to the non-linear relationship between density and crowding and the fact that people self select out of dense situations. 
  22. Book Review of Sprawl: A Compact History 
    by George H. Conklin
      Cities have always sprawled, according to the conclusions of  Robert Bruegmann in the book Sprawl: A Compact History.  As populations of nations grow and the old rural areas need fewer workers, cities have to grow, but elites have been opposed as far back as Queen Elizabeth I who tried to limit the growth of London.  By the late 1800s most of the nasty anti-sprawl vocabulary had been developed and is used to this day virtually unchanged by elites who try to tell the rest of the world we do not know how to live properly.  Planning has become a normative undertaking and judges itself more as an art than a science, where elites set the tone and average person becomes an impediment to a better world. 

Last Updated June 2010

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