The University of Newcastle, Australia
Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


3000 level

Course handbook


Students will be introduced to urban anthropology as a field of research. The city is the major focus of urban research. It has been the object of study for planners and reformers in their zeal to make the city governable as well as diverse forms of resistance to such control. The course will consider the rich body of social research that seeks to make sense of the social world created by the modern city.


Not currently offered.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. An understanding that urban planning processes are not neutral, technical activities, but are deeply embedded in social, political and cultural contexts

2. An understanding of key debates and prevailing approaches in the social analysis of the city.

3. An ability to apply key concepts and strategies of fieldwork research.


Topics may include:

  1. Defining the experience of the modern city through the studies of the Chicago School.
  2. Variations in fieldwork approaches to urban life, Robert Park, Louis Wirth, Erving Goffman, Clyde Mitchell, Max Gluckman.
  3. Modern forms of power, Michel Foucault, Marc Auge
  4. Modern forms of resistance from hobo life, football hooliganism to crimes of style such as hip hop graffiti and skateboarding
  5. An introduction to new approaches to the city: Gentrification, MacDonaldisation (Ritzer), Disneyfication (Zukin), the New Ghetto (Bourdieu, Wacquant, Anderson), the new Social Classes (Sennett, Caldiera, Davis), Edgework and Risk Taking (Lyng, Lupton)

Assumed knowledge

20 units at 1000 level in SOCA.

Assessment items

Essay: Essay

Presentation: Individual tutorial presentations