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urban village

  A residential district, usually in either the inner city or the zone in transition of the zonal model, containing people with a common cultural background and forming a community. Early studies in urban ecology suggested that cities were characterized by weak community ties, in contrast to rural areas (cf. Chicago school; rural-urban continuum) — by Gesellschaft (association) rather than Gemeinschaft (community) in Tönnies\'s classic dualism — though Wirth\'s study of the ghetto contradicted this claim (cf. urbanism). The identification of urban villages is often associated with Gans\'s (1962) detailed participant observation of an area of inner Boston where he found an Italian community brought together there through chain migration and remaining to assist with assimilation into the host society, to defend the migrants\' culture, and to ensure the provision of services — such as food shops — oriented to their market alone. (RJJ)

Reference Gans, H.J. 1962: The urban villagers: group and class in the life of Italian-Americans. New York: Free Press of Glencoe.

Suggested Reading Anderson, K. 1991: Vancouver\'s Chinatown: racial discourse in Canada, 1875-1980. Mont real: McGill University Press. Johnston, R.J. 1988: Living in America. In P.L. Knox et al., The United States: a contemporary human geography. London and New York: Longman, 237-59. Ley, D.F. 1974: The black inner city as frontier outpost. Washington, D.C.: Association of American Geographers.



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