City and the Grassroots: A Cross-Cultural Theory of Urban Social Movements (California Series in Urban Development), The

Manuel Castells
From dust jacket notes: "The City and the Grassroots is a major study of people and urbanization, and of the relationship between citizens and cities. The ties between the two are most evident when people mobilize to change their city, and so Castells focuses on urban social movements, the core of a broader theme of urban social change. The book relies on a series of case studies relating to a variety of social and cultural contexts. It opens with a historical overview, an investigation of how people have combined to influence and change cities. The selection of cases follows a clear sequence of social evolution, beginning with the transition from feudalism to an absolutist state (the revolution of the Comunidades in sixteenth-century Castilla) through to the new urban problems of the post-industrial society (the theme of the study of the revolt in American inner cities in the 1960s). Other cases include the Paris Commune of 1871, the Glasgow Rent Strike of 1915 and the Inquilinarios of Veracruz, Mexico in 1922. Castells turns to contemporary urban protest movements with an analysis of urban demands in the Grands Ensembles of Paris in the 1960s and 1970s. He questions the relationship between culture and space on the basis of the experience in San Francisco. He examines the effects of the subordination of urban movements to the political system by summarizing existing evidence of squatter communities in Latin America. He finally studies the links between consumption, culture and politics by focusing on the Citizen Movement of Madrid in the 1970s...."

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