You will research a particular city and write a paper on its history and current status. You may choose any city in the world. You will organize your paper according to the rubric below. You must apply the sociological concepts and theories from the readings and class lectures to your urban research. Data collection for the paper should be based on assigned course readings and Page 2 of 13 the following library and documentary resources: scholarly journals, newspapers, magazines, congressional testimony, archival material, planning department documents, government reports and analyses, census bureau data, books, and other written documents. I encourage you to include a map of the city and any other figures and tables if necessary. When writing your paper, assume that the reader knows nothing of the material you have read, the concepts you used, and data you collected. A useful starting point and excellent resource to consult to begin your research is the Tulane University Howard-Tilton Library Urban Studies Library Guide: Paper Organization Rubric: was the city established/incorporated? Who was responsible for its settlement and why was the city formed? What are the major historical landmarks or tourist attractions in the city? Tell us about any interesting or peculiar circumstances surrounding the origin and development of the city. Demographics and Population Characteristics. What is the current population of the city? Has the population increased or decreased over the last fifty years or so? If so, why? What is the racial and ethnic composition of the city population? Has this increased or decreased much and why? Tell us about the income and age distribution of the current population. Economic Base and Land-Use. Does the city have an economy dominated by one or two major industries or does the city have a diversified economy? Has the economic base changed much in the last fifty years? What is the rate of unemployment? Is housing availability and cost considered high or low? Are there any major land-uses that dominate the city? Tell us about the land use distribution (., residential, commercial, and industrial land-uses). What parts of the city are experiencing gentrification and new commercial investment? What areas of the city are experiencing residential displacement, disinvestment, and/or de- industrialization? What are the drivers of these land-use changes? Infrastructure and Government. Tell us about the transportation and communication systems, the quality of education and health care for city residents, and the form of city government. Ecological/Environmental Problems. What are the major environmental problems – pollution, contamination, climate change – the city faces? How have city leaders responded to these problems in the last decade or so? What new policies and programs have been implemented to address the city’s environmental challenges? Social Problems. What are the major social problems the city faces? What is the crime rate? Is the crime rate high or low? Is the crime rate high for violent crime and/or property crime? What is the percentage of the population living below the federal poverty line? Is the poverty rate high or low? Has the city had a history of racial, class, gender struggles and conflicts? If so, why? How are past conflicts and struggles linked to contemporary conflicts and struggles? Prospects for the Future. What are the projections for future economic growth? What are the major economic Page 3 of 13 revitalization projects being planned or implemented? What barriers does the city face in promoting growth? What problems does the city face that may impede future growth and development? References. You must include a References section that contains at least 10 references. The bulk of your research sources should come from material available from authoritative sources, especially libraries, government agencies, and other official (., government) outlets. You should not use Wikipedia because it is not an authoritative Methodological Appendix Provide a thorough description of how you gathered your information. You should identify the types and sources of data collected. You should include data in tables, graphs, and/or figures if you have large amounts of quantitative data. Put each table, graph, or figure on a separate page with a descriptive title over it. In the text of the research paper, refer to the table or figure by number and then explain it. For helpful advice on gathering your research data and writing the methodological appendix, study Chapter 4. Methods and Rules for the Study of Cities. Pp 71-97 in Introduction to Cities: How Place and Space Shape Human Experience by Chen, Xiangming, Anthony M. Orum, and Krista E. Paulsen. Wiley Blackwell. Your grade will be based on how complete your paper is (., does it address all the above points and issues), how organized it is and, most importantly, how well you connect the various themes, concepts, readings from the course to explain your city. Your paper should reflect your thoughtful engagement with the subject matter of urban sociology. Answer following question: How does your urban research relate to your understanding of class readings, course concepts, and different theories of cities and urban life? Finally, pick three concepts identified in the Chen, Orum, and Paulsen textbook and explain how they have influenced the development of the city that you are researching. The paper should be clear, concise, and succinct. Grammar, organization, spelling, and clarity all count. I will not accept any late papers, faxed papers, or papers contained in email attachments. The due date for the paper is the last day of class, December 9. You should submit your paper electronically through the Canvas site.
You will research a particular city and write a paper on its
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