Sample Book Review on Hutter and Mumford’s Article

Sample Book Review on Hutter and Mumford’s Article

  1. Major concepts presented in ch.1

The book highlights a new approach on how to run the political economy of a city. The main idea of the book is to address the political economy of urban dwellings. The first chapter primarily focuses on social psychological perspective of life. The illustrates a new thinking on how to govern the entire social, economic, and policy attributes allied to the city. The areas covered include urban history and civilization, micro and macro rank sociology and experience cities, symbolic interaction in the study of city life as well as the development in the city

The author covers urban history before the world became more civilized. By the end of 21st century, there had been a notable increase in urban inhabitation where about half of the whole world inhabitation had moved to most of the cities. With industrialization, most nations had become overwhelmingly built-up in terms of urbanization. The rate of urbanization inflated rapidly in the whole world.

Furthermore, urban population growth accelerated rapidly than that of the rural areas. Indeed, the author notes that the urban population increased more than two and half times that of the rural population. This was the first time in history for the world to have more dwellers in the urban compared to the rural areas.

Other than the urban history, chapter one also enumerates a tad on sociology in both macro and micro level in relation to the experiences of the city. The difference between micro and macro sociology level is that in micro-level approach, most sociologists major on various ways through which people perceive and interact in the developed environment. On the other hand, in macro level approach, the sociologist focuses on forms of interactional dynamics and individuals communal settings.

The last concept covered by the author is the study of city life in reference to symbolic interaction. Hutter (8) majorly covered the theoretical part, which in the social psychological perspective starts with the principle that people are the most active interpreters and controllers of their environment. From the belief of symbolic interaction and environmental space streets, exclusively one person should not perceive cities and neighborhoods. The author notes that the aforementioned facets should be owned by everybody in the society, but not by an individual.

  1. What “aha” did you have during the readings? Or was there something you found particularly surprising, troubling, or objectionable?

One of the things I found quite objectionable is the idea of subjecting the city to anti-biasness. The author intentionally studied the city development for specific reasons. For instance, Hutter (11) wanted to build up the image of the city. Accordingly, the author emphasized on American cities where he argues that symbolic and structural presentation of a city not only affects the attitude of people toward the environment but also the social policies of the city. From his study of the American city, he reveals that the city had been subjected to anti-urban bias. Ideally, by the end of the 20th and 21st centuries, the idea of bias had resulted to an evident life lived in suburbs.

Another Aha I had while reading the book was the issue of city ownership. The way the issue of communism in the city is brought out is mesmerizing. It is imperative to note that although Mumford and Hutter covered influential topics in their books, Mumford specialized on literary criticism, which had a great impact on Americans. Mostly the concepts focused on optimism about life, eliminated human self-satisfaction, and bring out the meaning of communal ownership and ownership from eternity as states and the city is owned by all individuals but not by a few people.

The idea of industrial revolution was also new to me. The author, through the the development of the concepts reveals that the city is a humanity of strangers and the municipal monarchy. This is something that I did know previously. The author says that a city is a unique place deferent from rural and other towns. He, therefore, calls for great responsibility of each individual while interacting with other people in the city. This was evident from the coming up of industrial revolution mostly in American cities which developed into a larger size. As a result, there was a dense eternity of people who were densely packed including people from different cultural and political background. It led to the emergence of multicultural population marked by diversity.

3)  Application of the reading to current events

Hutter emphasizes on the issue of social interaction. The city is made up of people from unique backgrounds, both politically and socially.  Therefore, every individual must be careful while interacting with strangers in the city. The reading is therefore, applicable in current events because through it, one can easily understand how to maneuver urban centers.

Most significantly, the author enlightens people by telling them that few individuals should not overwhelm the city properties. Instead, the community, to safeguard the interest of everyone, should own the city. All wealth should be communally owned to benefit all. This helps to control the rate at which parts of the urban cities are turning into slums and suburbs due to few individual owning much of the city properties.

Works Cited

Hutter, Mark. Experiencing Cities – The Metropolis and Modern Life. 1st ed. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2012. Print.