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The Communication Ecology of 21st Century Urban Communities

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Edited By Yong-Chan Kim, Matthew D. Matsaganis, Holley A. Wilkin and Joo-Young Jung

The Communication Ecology of 21st Century Urban Communities addresses the questions of whether it (still) matters what neighborhood individuals live in and if it is still necessary and possible for city dwellers to build and maintain place-based communities.

The book’s contributors address how urban communities are formed, reformed, and transformed from a communication infrastructure theory perspective. Through the lens of this theory, communication is defined as a fundamental social process by which cities are sustained and changed over time. The chapters in this book elaborate the theoretical and methodological frameworks of the communication infrastructure theory approach; articulate theory-driven and multi-method frameworks for the study of the city; and speak to pressing, contemporary, research- and policy-related challenges (or questions).

The broad array of issues addressed within this volume is expected to draw the interest not only of communication researchers and professionals, but also of students, scholars, practitioners, and policymakers from a variety of backgrounds and with an interest in different aspects of life in the city, including: public health, technology, civic engagement, and urban planning and design.

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Introduction (Yong-Chan Kim / Joo-Young Jung / Holley A. Wilkin / Matthew D. Matsaganis)

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Introduction

YONG-CHAN KIM, JOO-YOUNG JUNG,HOLLEY A. WILKIN, & MATTHEW D. MATSAGANIS



Urbanization is projected to continue to be strong for at least another 50 years. In fact, by the year 2050, two-thirds of the world’s population are expected to live in cities (United Nations, 2014). Although contemporary urban communities share some similarities with those of the past, 21st century cities are also different, and continue to change due to various structural forces. Such forces include globalization, increasing population diversity, rapid and disruptive technological innovation, and capitalism and regulation. The effects of these changes are manifold across all aspects of urban residents’ everyday lives at both an individual and a collective level. Literature on the urban condition has been burgeoning in the social and behavioral sciences in areas such as geography, economics, sociology, and public health. This volume adds to this body of work by explicitly exploring urban issues from a communication perspective.

Editors and authors contributing to this book collectively ask whether it (still) matters what neighborhood individuals live in and if it is still necessary and possible for city dwellers to build and maintain place-based communities. Additionally, this book’s contributors address how urban communities are formed, reformed, and transformed. In the past, researchers in several different disciplines have approached these questions with conceptual tools such as social capital, community capital, public sphere and lifeworld, (urban) commons, community resilience, community health, collective efficacy, community integration, neighborhood...

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