WHAT IS “URBAN STUDIES”? CONTEXT, INTERNAL STRUCTURE, AND CONTENT

Authors


Direct correspondence to: William M. Bowen, Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH 44115. E-mail: w.bowen@csuohio.edu.

Abstract

ABSTRACT: The record of learned concern with cities is nearly as old as the city itself. In the past several decades, however, a distinct academic field of “Urban Studies” has emerged. This article characterizes the context, internal structure, and content of the field through interviews with leading scholars, probabilistic multidimensional scaling analyses of survey data, and a content analysis of a leading journal. The article concludes that although Urban Studies is in some respects not a bounded “academic discipline,” it is an intellectually coherent, distinctively structured, and promising field of inquiry steered by complex, ever-changing, and often-large-scale realities and real-world problems of evolving human settlements.

Ancillary