Neighbours and Strangers: An Introduction to Urban Sociology
The course serves as an introduction to urban sociology, thus illustrating key discussions and inviting to a deeper acquaintance with selected topics. It focuses on the city as a key arena of (co)creation, consumption, a manifestation of culture, and on the actors shaping it. Its penetrating questions will be those defining connections and relations: why some aspects of reality, communities, spaces, structures, texts, sounds, visual markers, possibilities become “ours”, while others are perceived as “strange”, some remaining invisible? What makes these connections? Who are the actors who support, destroy and change them? What resources do they mobilize to support their own decisions and future projects? How can a “stranger” become a “neighbour”? Why is urban diversity an important resource for culture? In this course, I am interested in how we form ties with the city in its many manifestations and how, thanks to our knowledge, emotions and actions, the city (its past, present and future) ceases to be alien and becomes ours.