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IGNOU BSOE 141 Solved Assignment 2022-23

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IGNOU BSOE 141 Solved Assignment 2022-23

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Submission Date :

  • 31st March 2033 (if enrolled in the July 2033 Session)
  • 30th Sept, 2033 (if enrolled in the January 2033 session).

Answer the following Descriptive Category Questions in about 500 words each. Each question carries 20 marks in Assignment I.

Answer the following Middle Category Questions in about 250 words each. Each question carries 10 marks in Assignment II.

Answer the following Short Category Questions in about 100 words each. Each question carries 6 marks in Assignment III.

Assignment I


1. How did urban sociology emerge? Discuss the role of the Chicago school of thought with examples.

The Chicago School of Urban Sociology refers to work of faculty and graduate students at the University of Chicago during the period 1915– 35. This small group of scholars (the full time faculty in the department of sociology never numbered more than 6 persons) developed a new sociological theory and research methodology in a conscious effort to create a science of society using the city of Chicago as a social laboratory. The Chicago School continues to define the contours of urban sociology, most clearly in the contributions of urban ecology and applied research within the urban environment.

The University of Chicago was founded in 1890 as a research university modeled after Johns Hopkins University and Clark University. The Chicago School of the period discussed here is represented by three generations of faculty. The first group included Albion Small (founder of the department), W. I. Thomas, Charles R. Henderson, Graham Taylor, and George E. Vincent. The second generation included Small, Thomas, Ernest Burgess, Ellsworth Faris, and Robert Park. It was this group that trained the graduate students responsible for the classic studies of the Chicago School. The third generation included Park, Burgess, Louis Wirth, and William Ogburn. This group of faculty would remain intact until the time Park retired from the university in 1934.

While it is common to date the origin of urban sociology at Chicago with Park’s arrival in 1914 and his subsequent work with Burgess, the idea of the city as a laboratory for social research came much earlier. Henderson applied for funds for a systematic study of the city in the first decade, and Thomas began his research on The Polish Peasant in Europe and the United States in 1908. An early (1902) description of the graduate program in the American Journal of Sociology stated:

The city of Chicago is one of the most complete social laboratories in the world. While the elements of sociology may be studied in smaller communities . . . the most serious problems of modern society are presented by the great cities, and must be studied as they are encountered in concrete form in large populations. No city in the world presents a wider variety of typical social problems than Chicago.

The sociology faculty pioneered empirical research using a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods in an effort to develop a science of sociology. Park formulated a new theoretical model based upon his observation that the city was more than a geographic phenomenon; the basic concepts of human ecology were borrowed from the natural sciences. Competition and segregation led to formation of natural areas, each with a separate and distinct moral order. The city was ‘‘a mosaic of little worlds that touch but do not interpenetrate.’’ Burgess’s model for the growth of the city showed a central business district surrounded by the zone in transition, the zone of working men’s homes, the residential zone, and the commuter zone. Roderick McKenzie expanded the basic model of human ecology in his later study of the metropolitan community.The research and publication program of the Chicago School was carried out under the auspices of a Local Community Research Committee, an interdisciplinary group comprised of faculty and graduate students from sociology, political science (Charles Merriam), and anthropology (Robert Redfield). Support came from the Laura Spellman Rockefeller Memorial (more than $600,000 from 1924 to 1934). Graduate students under the guidance of Park and Burgess mapped local community areas and studied the spatial organization of juvenile delinquency, family disorganization, and cultural life in the city. The research program produced a diverse array of studies broadly organized around the themes of urban institutions (the hotel, taxi dance hall), social disorganization (juvenile delinquency, the homeless man), and natural areas themselves. Among the notable Chicago School studies are Frederick Thrasher, The Gang (1926); Louis Wirth, The Ghetto (1928); Harvey W. Zorbaugh, The Gold Coast and the Slum (1929); Clifford S. Shaw, The Jackroller (1930); E. Franklin Frazier, The Negro Family in Chicago (1932); Paul G. Cressey, The Taxi Dance Hall (1932); Walter C. Reckless, Vice in Chicago (1933); and E. Franklin Frazier, The Negro Family in Chicago (1932).

The Chicago School dominated urban sociology and sociology more generally in the first half of the twentieth century. By 1950 some 200 students had completed graduate study at Chicago. Many were instrumental in establishing graduate programs in sociology across the country, and more than half of the presidents of the American Sociological Association were faculty or students at Chicago. The American Journal of Sociology, started by Small in 1895, was the official journal of the American Sociological Association from 1906 to 1935. The dominance of the Chicago School also generated antagonism, and a ‘‘minor rebellion’’ at the annual conference in 1935 would result in the founding of a new journal, the American Sociological Review, and marks the decline of influence of the Chicago department.There were early critiques of the Chicago School, including Missa Alihan’s 1938 critique of the determinism inherent in Park’s human ecology (Park wrote that ‘‘on the whole’’ the criticisms were correct). Maurice Davie (in 1938) reanalyzed data from Clifford Shaw’s Delinquency Areas (1929) and showed that delinquency was associated with areas of physical deterioration and high immigrant populations and not in the concentric zone model used in the Chicago studies. Burgess’s concentric zones were soon replaced by a variety of models showing multiple nuclei and eventually the decentralized, poly centered city. Still, urban ecology remains the dominant model and method among urban sociologists at present.Recent attention has focused on the role of women in the development of the Chicago School. Deegan (1986) argued that the contribution of women was marginalized by Park and other male faculty. Jane Addams’s Hull House had conducted early community studies. Edith Abbott was a part time instructor in the department, and Addams had been offered a part time position. Many of the Chicago faculty were involved with Hull House and other social reform movements; Graham Taylor was one of the early members of the department. Burgess would later note that systematic urban research at Chicago started with the Hull House studies begun by Abbot and Sophonsia Breckenridge in 1908. Although many of the graduate students would use the settlement houses to assist their research, efforts to distinguish themselves from social reform and the emerging field of social work may explain a reluctance to connect the Chicago School with these earlier studies.The influence of the early work of the Chicago School may be seen in some later studies, notably St. Clair Drake and Horace Cayton’s Black Metropolis (1945) and in several community studies directed by Morris Janowitz in the 1970s. William Julius Wilson’s work on poverty neighborhoods in 1980–95 once again made use of the city as a social laboratory, including a sustained program of training for graduate students, but Wilson would leave for Harvard before this research agenda was completed. The Chicago School of Urban Sociology has not had lasting influence in the work of the department.In addition to urban sociology, there are claims to various other Chicago Schools in ethnic studies, crime and delinquency, symbolic interaction, and other fields. The Chicago School of Urban Sociology does not usually include G. H. Mead or W. Lloyd Warner, both of whom were important figures in the department in the 1930s (Mead) and 1940s (Warner). Louis Wirth noted that the Chicago School included many different theoretical models and perspectives and included methodologies ranging from personal documents and ethnography to quantitative analysis. Park felt that Thomas’s work formed the foundation for the department, but wrote that he was not aware that he was creating a ‘‘school’’ or a ‘‘doctrine.’’ The Chicago School label developed in large measure from critiques by scholars from other universities. Recent work in urban geography has argued that while Chicago was the model for urban theory of the twentieth century, Los Angeles is the model for urban theory of the future. It should be noted that the Los Angeles School (a title coined by the authors themselves, in contrast to the Chicago School) is more appropriately urban studies, rather than urban sociology.


2. What do you understand by “New” urban sociology? Explain.

Urban sociology was born of a tradition rich in theory as well as method. Urban sociology’s founders, the Chicago School, were data fiends embracing both quantitative and qualitative methods, including ethnographic research. The earliest urban sociologists plied their trade by mapping, counting, observing, and surveying. They pioneered participant observation, conducting some of the earliest studies using ethnographic methods.

The early urban sociologists were empirical. They cared about data, how they got it, and how they used it. The emphasis in urban sociology on using a wide range of rigorously applied methods continues. Although urban sociology, like most fields in sociology, periodically engages in pedantic methodological battles, it typically tends to value and support all types of empirical research, emphasizing the quality of the methods used.

This focus on careful empirical work gives urban sociologists standing within applied networks that rely on quality research for policy development, assessment, and application. In the applied research arena, the empirical work of urban sociology can rival the work of urban economics because sociologists, unlike most economists, know to collect primary data. One of the strengths of urban sociology, and typical of sociology generally, is a focus on research design.

An enduring strength of urban ethnographic research is exposing the ‘hidden’ worlds and clandestine cultures of urban inhabitants. But urban ethnography now studies the unusual as well as the seemingly mundane. Urban ethnography seeks to explore people’s lifestyles, behaviors, decisions, and actions as well as the ways people frame their experiences and construct their identities. Urban ethnography captures a piece of urban life and connects these pieces to larger urban structures.

The standards for rigorous quantitative research in urban sociology are high. Urban sociologists rely heavily on primary and secondary data, are skilled in sampling and survey design, and have grown their skills at statistical analysis.

Urban sociology seeks to describe and interpret the causal connections between the constitutive elements of a city and the factors that give rise to them. This approach furnishes understanding of the complex as well as profound meaning of every urban reality, notably the territorial stabilization of social life, the rise of a space symbol system and culture, and the origin and evolution of human settlements. The city came to reproduce, in historically different ways, the structural elements of the first human settlements: ancient cities, cities in the Middle Ages, modern cities, those of the industrial revolutions, and those of the world as a city system. The features of the ‘global city’ seem to be the following: an indifference to the spatial allocation of the production process, supremacy over increasingly broader territories, a market on the world scale, and the production of symbols and mechanisms that legitimate the cities’ planetary power which the legal and political orders of states are unable to counteract.

Impact of Urbanization

Differences in urban and rural life culture could be marked within national and geographical boundaries. In fact, some culturally diverse cities or farming communities may have more in common across borders than within. Folk illness practices are more likely to be preserved in stable rural communities than in bustling cities. The pace of industrialization in countries such as Brazil, China, India, and South Africa often requires rural to urban migration to support this growth with cheaper rural labor. Working age and predominantly male adult migration within these countries may influence family balance and cultural practices across generations.

Transportation and Environment

Several other aspects of urban life can also relate to issues of race. Two are briefly mentioned here: transportation and the environment. Examples related to transportation, would be the negative effects of highway construction policies upon the viability of minority neighborhoods, or the problem of lack of accessibility to means of transportation by racial minorities (Bullard and Johnson 1997). This problem is also evident in several historical case studies of African American community life, since federal highway legislation functioned much as redevelopment legislation did in the physical clearance of African American neighborhoods.

A major race-related issue of concern to planners is the disproportionately negative impact that environmental pollutants have upon racial minorities. Reference was made earlier to expulsionary zoning (see Sect. 2.2), indicating some of the problems that can arise. Examples of such problem areas include the siting of regular and hazardous waste landfills in minority neighborhoods, the prevalence of lead poisoning in minority housing, and the consumption by indigenous hunters and fishers of fish and wildlife contaminated by harmful substances. Social scientists have helped to document the extent of the problem, and have joined with civil rights and other groups to examine the racial implications of such cases (Bullard 1994). One of the claims among activists in the USA is that environmental pollution disproportionately affects people of color, and negatively impacts their health and well-being. Another key concern is that the mainstream environmental movement has largely ignored these racial issues. Recent environmental justice initiatives, however, have forced the environmental movement to become more inclusive. Environmental racism is an important phenomenon for urban planners because of their role in helping to determine land uses, including the location of landfills and heavy industry, and the reclamation of environmentally contaminated land for urban redevelopment projects.


Assignment II


3. Discuss the role of “network” in urban society with examples.
4. How is globalization and network significant in urban sociology? Discuss.
5. What are slums? Discuss its main features.


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Assignment III


6. Describe the process of urbanization and the concept of urban.
7. Describe the concept of urbanism as given by Louis Wirth.
8. How many types of occupation are found in urban areas? Discuss
9. Outline the features of a “Gated Community” in big cities.
10. Discuss the meaning of consumer culture and concept of leisure.


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IGNOU BSOE 141 Solved Assignment 2022-23 Download Free  Before attempting the assignment, please read the following instructions carefully.

  1. Read the detailed instructions about the assignment given in the Handbook and Programme Guide.
  2. Write your enrolment number, name, full address and date on the top right corner of the first page of your response sheet(s).
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  5. Write the relevant question number with each answer.
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