The Social Control of Cities?. A Comparative Perspective. Studies in Urban and Social Change

  • ID: 2250818
  • Book
  • 328 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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In this ground–breaking study, Sophie Body–Gendrot provides a comparative analysis of new types of welfare and social maintenance policies of states and o cities in charge of strategic functions in the global economy. Focusing on concrete urban settings in the USA and in France, the book examines the relationship between national and local decision–makers, including their policy rhetorics meant to check moral panics over juvenile crime and violent events. Beyond such institutional responses, it examines the production of alternative norms and of new forms of politics displayed by the powerless in marginalized neighborhoods.

This work provides an important contribution to the study and interpretation of urban violence, the changing role of the state in an era of deregulation, the growth of inequalities and power conflicts over space and citizen participation. It calls for a decoding of local–global, national–local concepts and for a new theorization of these issues. The text is informed by extensive fieldwork, including interviews with mayors, judges, police officers, community leaders, youths in jail or on probation, and grassroots organizations, unveiling insights into such timely questions as:

What innovations do cities display to maintain social control in these settings and what is their leverage to do so?

Will the established order break down in violence and disorder?

How serious is the threat?

What is the challenge for the "post–city"?

How do American and French global cities compare on such issues?

The Social Control of Cities draws from a wide range of disciplines, including political sociology and history, and links urban studies to broader questions regarding the criminology of exclusion.
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List of Figures.

List of Tables.


Series Preface.


Introductions: Tolerance and Suppression..

Part I: The Politics of Depacification.

Economic Globalization and Urban Unrest.

Law–Enforcement in the USA.

Solidarity and Social Prevention in France..

Part II. The Politics of Reconciliation.

Managing Polarization: New York and Chicago.

Managing Polarization: Paris, Marseilles, and Lyons.

Conclusion: The Social Control of Cities?.



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"This book is extremely important for anyone interested in crime and violence in urban areas. The author situates urban violence and responses to it within the larger processes of globalization and of growth of inequalitites within and between societies. By using case studies of different cities in different countries––US, Britain, and Frnace––she examines the impact of global, national, and local policies and economic trends on various cities′ responses to crime and violence."Choice

"This is a well–documented and perceptive study." David Downes, London School of Economics, UK

"... does a creditable job of demonstrating both historically and comparatively, how cities within the limits of distinct national traditions are actually extraordinarily diverse and yet extremely limited in the ways they manage social control." Canadian Journal of Sociology Online

‘This comprehensive cross–cultural study of urban tensions and insecurities in an era of globalization is a major contribution to the literature on changing western cities. Sophie Body–Gendrot’s original synthesis of a wide range of urban studies provides new insights on the dynamic changes in modern urban life." – William Julius Wilson, Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor, Harvard University

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