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Changing Landscapes of Singapore

Old Tensions, New Discoveries

Elaine Lynn-Ee Ho, Wong Chih Yuan and Kamalini Ramdas

Changing Landscapes of Singapore illuminates both the social and the physical terrains of modern Singapore. Geographers use the term landscape to refer to visible surfaces and to the spatial dimension of social relations. Landscapes arise from particular historical circumstances, and in turn help shape social arrangements and possible courses of future development. The authors describe how the settings inhabited by various social groups in Singapore affect life experiences, and explore the impact of broader regional and international forces on Singapore. Written for non-specialists, the volume reflects fresh perspectives from the scholarship of Singaporean academics. Their work is sensitive to historical and geographical trends in the region, and also engages with broader theoretical themes.

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Charleston in Black and White

Race and Power in the South after the Civil Rights Movement

Steve Estes

Once one of the wealthiest cities in America, Charleston, South Carolina, established a society built on the racial hierarchies of slavery and segregation. By the 1970s, the legal structures behind these racial divisions had broken down and the wealth built upon them faded. Like many southern cities, Charleston had to construct a new public image. In this important book, Steve Estes chronicles the rise and fall of black political empowerment and examines the ways Charleston responded to the civil rights movement, embracing some changes and resisting others.

Based on detailed archival research and more than fifty oral history interviews, Charleston in Black and White addresses the complex roles played not only by race but also by politics, labor relations, criminal justice, education, religion, tourism, economics, and the military in shaping a modern southern city. Despite the advances and opportunities that have come to the city since the 1960s, Charleston (like much of the South) has not fully reckoned with its troubled racial past, which still influences the present and will continue to shape the future.

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Chicago Hustle and Flow

Gangs, Gangsta Rap, and Social Class

Geoff Harkness

On September 4, 2012, Joseph Coleman, an eighteen-year-old aspiring gangsta rapper, was gunned down in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago. Police immediately began investigating the connections between Coleman’s murder and an online war of words and music he was having with another Chicago rapper in a rival gang. In Chicago Hustle and Flow, Geoff Harkness points out how common this type of incident can be when rap groups form as extensions of gangs. Gangs and rap music, he argues, can be a deadly combination.

Set in one of the largest underground music scenes in the nation, this book takes readers into the heart of gangsta rap culture in Chicago. From the electric buzz of nightclubs to the sights and sounds of bedroom recording studios, Harkness presents gripping accounts of the lives, beliefs, and ambitions of the gang members and rappers with whom he spent six years. A music genre obsessed with authenticity, gangsta rap promised those from crime-infested neighborhoods a ticket out of poverty. But while firsthand experiences with gangs and crime gave rappers a leg up, it also meant carrying weapons and traveling collectively for protection.

Street gangs serve as a fan base and provide protection to rappers who bring in income and help to recruit for the gang. In examining this symbiotic relationship, Chicago Hustle and Flow ultimately illustrates how class stratification creates and maintains inequalities, even at the level of a local rap-music scene.

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China's Urban Transition

John Friedmann

Though China's urban history reaches back over five thousand years, it is only in the last quarter century that urbanization has emerged as a force of widespread social transformation while a massive population shift from country to city has brought about a dramatic revolution in China's culture, politics, and economy. Employing a historical perspective, John Friedmann presents a succinct, readable account and interpretation of how this transition - one of the most momentous phenomena in contemporary history - has occurred. China's Urban Transition synthesizes a broad array of research to provide the first integrated treatment of the many processes that encompass the multi-layered meaning of urbanization: regional policy, the upsurge of rural industries, migration, expanding spheres of personal autonomy, and the governance of city building. John Friedmann's detailed analysis suggests that the nation's economic development has been driven more by social forces from within than by global capital. This leads directly to the epic story of rural migration to major urban regions, the policies used to restrain and direct this "avalanche" of humanity on the move, and the return of many migrants to their home communities, where the process of urbanization continues. Focusing on everyday life in cities, he also shows how this social transformation extends to the most intimate spheres of people's lives. In conclusion, the author raises the question of a "sustainable" urban development and its relation with China's own past, values, and institutions. Friedmann predicts that within ten years China - already the most powerful country in East Asia - will have become a major power in the world. With historical depth, interpretive insight, and interdisciplinary breadth, this book offers an unparalleled introduction to China's transformation.

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Cities and Sovereignty

Identity Politics in Urban Spaces

Edited by Diane E. Davis and Nora Libertun de Duren

Cities have long been associated with diversity and tolerance, but from Jerusalem to Belfast to the Basque Country, many of the most intractable conflicts of the past century have played out in urban spaces. The contributors to this interdisciplinary volume examine the interrelationships of ethnic, racial, religious, or other identity conflicts and larger battles over sovereignty and governance. Under what conditions do identity conflicts undermine the legitimacy and power of nation-states, empires, or urban authorities? Does the urban built environment play a role in remedying or exacerbating such conflicts? Employing comparative analysis, these case studies from the Middle East, Europe, and South and Southeast Asia advance our understanding of the origins and nature of urban conflict.

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Cities in the Commonwealth

Two Centuries of Urban Life in Kentucky

Allen J. Share

From the 1780s, when Louisville and Lexington were tiny clusters of houses in the wilderness, to the 1980s, when more than half of all Kentuckians live in urban areas, the growth of cities has affected nearly all aspects of life in the Commonwealth. These urban centers have led the state in economic, social, and cultural change.

Cities in the Commonwealth examines the crises that have shaped the history of Kentucky's cities and sheds light on such continuing concerns as urban competition, provision of essential services, the importance of the arts, and the struggle for racial justice.

By allowing contemporaries to tell much of the story in their own words, Allen J. Share conveys a sense of the exuberance and dynamism of urban life and thought in Kentucky.

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Cities, Sagebrush, and Solitude

Urbanization and Cultural Conflict in the Great Basin

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Citizenship and Governance in a Changing City

Somerville, MA

Overcoming a past of deteriorating homes, empty storefronts, and corrupt city administrations, Somerville, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston, today proudly defines itself as a longtime immigrant city, a historically blue collar town, and a hip new urban center with a progressive city government.

In Citizenship and Governance in a Changing City, Susan Ostrander shows how beneath current high levels of engagement by Somerville residents lies a struggle about who should be the city's elected leaders and how they should conduct the city's affairs. It is a struggle waged between diverse residents--relatively new immigrants and a new middle class-trying to gain a foothold in democratic participation, and the city's political "old guard." 

Citizenship and Governance in a Changing City informs current debates about the place of immigrants in civic and political life, and the role of voluntary associations in local politics and government. In the process, Ostrander provides useful lessons for many midsize urban communities.
 

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The City as Campus

Urbanism and Higher Education in Chicago

Sharon Haar

We are witnessing an explosion of universities and campuses nationwide, and urban schools play an important role in shaping the cities outside their walls. In The City as Campus, Sharon Haar uses Chicago as a case study to examine how universities interact with their urban contexts, demonstrating how higher education became integrated with ideas of urban growth as schools evolved alongside the city.

The City as Campus shows the strain of this integration, detailing historical accounts of battles over space as campus designers faced the challenge of weaving the social, spatial, and architectural conditions of the urban milieu into new forms to meet the changing needs of academia. Through a close analysis of the history of higher education in Chicago, The City as Campus explores how the university's missions of service, teaching, and research have metamorphosed over time, particularly in response to the unique opportunities-and restraints-the city provides. Illustrating how Chicago serves as a site of pedagogical transformation and a location for the larger purpose of the academic community, The City as Campus presents a social and design history of the urban campus as an architectural idea and form.

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City in Common

Culture and Community in Buenos Aires

James Scorer

Addresses ways that cultural imaginaries point toward alternative urban futures.

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