Cities and Nations

Authored by: Manuel DeLanda

The Ashgate Research Companion to Planning Theory

Print publication date:  July  2010
Online publication date:  November  2016

Print ISBN: 9780754672548
eBook ISBN: 9781315279251
Adobe ISBN: 9781315279244


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Interpersonal networks and institutional organizations may be studied without reference to their location in space because communication technologies allow their defining linkages and formal positions to be created and maintained at a distance, but as we move to larger scales spatial relations become crucial. Social entities like cities, for example, composed of entire populations of persons, networks, and organizations, can hardly be conceptualized without a physical infrastructure of buildings, streets and various conduits for the circulation of matter and energy, defined in part by their spatial relations to one another. In fact, sociologists discovered the social relations generated by territoriality in the 1920s when the famous Chicago school began its studies of urban contexts, viewed both as spatial localities as well as sites structured in time by habitual or customary practices (Park 1984). More recently sociologists like Anthony Giddens, influenced in part by the work of urban geographers, have returned to this theme, re-conceptualizing social territories through the notion of a ‘regionalized locale’.

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