Urban Sociology


As part of a pilot program investigating the best use of the New School’s Electronic Learning Portfolios, Mario Hernandez has built one for his course, Urban Sociology. Mario’s portfolio works as an interactive syllabus, allowing current students to see what’s up for discussion in class, providing links and current related work on the subject of the course, and also offering anyone not involved in the class to take part, in a way. This week, the class is considering the culturally fraught term “authenticity.” Here’s a snippet from a post, which is itself provides an excellent reading list (including audio), and the link, so go see.

What we will accentuate apart from the underlying political and economic forces driving gentrification, is how culture and cultural trends are clearly a driving force in and of them selves. Culturally fraught terms like “authenticity” make this quickly apparent as Sharon Zukin describes in her article Consuming Authenticity. Anchoring her argument in purchasing power, she effectively shows how consumption patterns are inherently tied to cultural trends, values and norms.


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