By Gerard Delanty
The expanding individualism of recent Western society has been followed via a permanent nostalgia for the belief of neighborhood as a resource of safety and belonging and, lately, instead to the kingdom as a foundation for politics.
Gerard Delanty starts off this stimulating advent to the idea that with an research of the origins of the assumption of group in Western Utopian notion, and as an imagined primitive country equated with conventional societies in classical sociology and anthropology. He is going directly to chart the resurgence of the belief inside communitarian inspiration, the issues and reviews of multiculturalism, and its new manifestations inside a society the place new modes of conversation produce either fragmentation and the chances of recent social bonds. modern neighborhood, he argues, is largely a conversation neighborhood according to new sorts of belonging. now not bounded through position, we will belong to a number of groups in response to faith, nationalism, ethnicity, life-styles and gender.
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The legitimating myth of community as a normative foundation of modern society disintegrated. From Nietzsche to Freud, intellectuals and writers began to portray modern society as being in the throes of a malaise. In classical sociology, this tendency is captured by Max Weber’s metaphor of the ‘iron cage’, Durkheim’s concern with suicide and the motif of ‘anomie’, and Simmel’s theory of the ‘tragedy of culture’. As the European nations prepared for war, the nation-state, the effective expression of modern society as a territorial phenomenon, had become a war machine.
This combination, along with the re-mythologization of history, created a reactionary political philosophy based on a primordial community. Fascism was the ultimate expression of this kind of symbolic and sacred community, which provided a legitimation of authoritarian politics based on elites, racism and the aesthetization of politics. ‘In the end,’ wrote George Mosse, ‘the radical right had compounded, not solved the problem of community in the modern age’ (Mosse, 1982, p. 42). These themes were central to an important work on community by the German philosopher Helmut Plessner, who claimed that the idea of community is a dangerous one.
In recent years, however, there has been a renaissance of urban sociology, which has become linked closely with theories of globalization, social movements and new conceptions of space. In this chapter some of these issues are explored. Beginning with the Chicago School and post-Second World War urban sociology and community studies, we move on to look at the post-Chicago School urban sociology around the work of David Harvey, Neil Smith and Mike Davis. In the third section, the work of Manuel Castells and Janet Abu-Lughod is discussed, where the focus is on the relocalization of the city by means of urban communities.