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The Urban World

Tenth Edition

J. John Palen

Publication Date - June 2014

ISBN: 9780199371969

400 pages
7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $89.95

A comprehensive and accessible introduction to urban sociology, with more attention paid to issues of diversity than any other text on the market


Long the leading text in urban sociology, The Urban World continues to provide a comprehensive, balanced, up-to-date, and cross-cultural look at cities and suburbs around the world. Offering a twenty-first-century view of the changing urban scene, the text covers evolving urban patterns and the changing nature of urban life. Combining expert scholarship with an accessible style that students appreciate, J. John Palen is one of America's leading urban sociologists. He travels the world and adds fresh insights, gleaned firsthand, to each edition of his text. Featuring an exceptionally clear writing style, The Urban World is also enhanced by such enduring features as robust academic content and an instructor-friendly organization. The book is accompanied by a comprehensive test bank and PowerPoint-based slides for qualified instructors.

New to this Edition

  • Includes the latest census findings on the revival of city growth since the Great Depression
  • Offers new boxed inserts on garbage pickers in Buenos Aires and Detroit's fight to survive
  • Addresses the continued growth of Latinos as the largest U.S. minority and the demographic, social, and political consequences of this change
  • Explains "Brain-Gain" cities and their appeal to Millennials and Gen-Y
  • Discusses the future of urban developments including smart growth, new urbanism, and the "greening" of cities
  • Includes new material on international cities, like Mumbai and Abu Dhabi, and fresh material on gentrification
  • Features updated discussions of homelessness, the political effect of growing minority voting strength, and changes in housing preferences following the collapse and rebirth of the housing market
  • Provides a list of key concepts at the end of each chapter

About the Author(s)

J. John Palen is Professor Emeritus at Virginia Commonwealth University.


"The Urban World is clearly better than competing books. It does an effective job exposing students to the basic tenets of urban politics, history, economics, and geography, and helps prepare them for deeper deliberation and research. I will adopt. It is the only book appropriate for my Introduction to Urban Studies course."--Cara Robinson, Tennessee State University

" Palen presents the material clearly and concisely, and does a nice job of presenting a variety of concepts and competing analytical frameworks. I have looked at other books but have not found any that are as good as The Urban World."--Robert Kerstein, University of Tampa

Table of Contents

    Part I: Focus and Development

    1. The Urban World
    2. The Emergence of Cities

    Part II : American Urbanization

    3. The Rise of Urban America
    4. Ecology and Political Economy Perspectives
    5. Metro and Edge City Growth
    6. The Suburban Era

    Part III: Metropolitan Life

    7. Urban Culture and Lifestyles
    8. The Social Environment of Metro Areas: Strangers, Crowding, Homelessness, and Crime
    9. Diversity: Women, Ethnics, and African Americans
    10. Diversity: Latinos, Asians, and Native Americans

    Part IV: Metro Issues, Housing, Sprawl, and Planning

    11. Cities and Change
    12. Housing Policies, Sprawl, and Smart Growth
    13. Planning, New Towns, and New Urbanism

    Part V: Worldwide Urbanization

    14. Developing Countries
    15. Asian Urban Patterns
    16. African and Latin American Urbanization
    17. Conclusion: Toward the Urban Future