online glossary for Urban Social Geography, an Introduction

This is an electronic transcription of the glossary found at the end of the 4th edition of Urban Social Geography, An Introduction, a book by Paul Knox and Steven Pinch published by Pearson Education copyright ©2000. This glossary is presented here for my personal use and for the use of fellow students who have also already purchased the textbook. Permission granted by the kind folks at Pearson Education.

Each of the following letters is a link to the first entry that begins with that letter.
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Ableist geography
Geographical studies that assume people are able-bodied, thereby ignoring the problems faced by those with disabilities. Such studies contribute to the continuing oppression of the disabled.
A term associated with Marxian theory to refer to the processes by which capital is acquired. The term alludes to a system in which the ownership of wealth and property is highly concentrated and not just to a system based on profit-making.
action (or activity) space
A term used in behavioural studies of residential mobility to indicate the sum of all the areas in a city with which people have direct contact. See awareness space, aspiration region.
aestheticization (of everyday life)
Originally used to denote situations where issues of class conflict were obscured by appeals to high art. Now used in a broader sense to indicate the increasing importance of signs or appearances in everyday life. Especially applied to processes of consumption and material objects (including buildings) which are seen as indicating the social position of the user. See also exchange value, use value, positional good, symbolic capital.
The capacity of people to make choices and take actions to affect their destinies. Often played down in structuralism and deterministic theories. Also termed human agency. Contrast with economic determinism. See reflexivity.
Sorkin's term to indicate that the postmodern city may be likened to a theme park centred around Disney-like simulations. See Disneyfication, hyperreality, postmodernism, simulacra.
A term used generally to indicate the ways in which people's capacities are dominated by others. Used in Marxist theory to indicate the loss of control that workers have over their labour and the things they make in a capitalist mode of production.
A term used in postcolonial theory to indicate a culture that is radically different from and totally outside that to which it is opposed. Disputed by those who argue that all cultures evolve in relation to one another. See hybridity.
A term used in postcolonial theory to describe the mixture of attraction and repulsion that characterizes the relationship between the colonizer and the colonized. It is argued that all colonial relationships are ambivalent because the colonizers do not want to be copied exactly. Imitation can lead to mimicry. Ambivalence tends to decentre power since it can lead to hybridity on the part of those in power.
An approach that privileges men and downplays women. See feminism, sexism.
A situation in which people are less affected by conventions and established social norms. Often associated with the isolation of urban life. See Gesellschaft.
Rejection of the idea that there is some underlying essence to phenomena such as truth or natural identity. The opposite of essentialism.
The taking over of elements of imperial culture by postcolonial societies. See ambivalence, hybridity, mimicry.
areal differentiation
Another term for residential differentiation (or sociospatial differentiation). May also be used in a general sense to refer to areas with commercial or industrial activity rather than just the social fabric of cities.
aspiration region (or space)
A term used in behavioural studies of residential mobility to indicate the areas of a city to which a potential mover aspires – the product of both action space and awareness space.
asset sales
The sale of publicly owned organisations (such as utilities) and assets (such as public housing) to the private sector. See privatization.
The process whereby a minority group is incorporated into the wider society (or charter group). Can be behavioural assimilation or structural assimilation. May explain degrees of segregation.
Another term for the service-dependent ghetto.
The idea that there is a pure, basic, culture. Disputed by the notion of ambivalence. Used in postmodern theory to distinguish 'reality' from copies of the real known as simulacra. See also hybridity.
authority constraint
A term used within Hagerstrand's time-geography to indicate the influence of laws and customs upon daily lives. See capability constraint, coupling constraint.
awareness space
All the areas of a city of which a person or household has knowledge resulting from both direct contact (action space) and indirect sources of information (e.g. newspapers, estate agents). See aspiration region.

A metaphor for the administrative subdivision of U.S. cities into numerous local governments. Also known as metropolitan fragmentation.
Poor-quality suburban areas of French cities occupied by immigrants. Also termed bidonvilles.
behavioural approach
An approach which examines people's activities and decision-making processes within their perceived worlds. See behaviouralism.
behavioural assimilation
The process whereby a minority group adopts the culture of the wider society (or charter group). Contrast with structural assimilation.
An approach in psychology which recognizes that human responses to stimuli are mediated by social factors. Contrast with behaviourism.
An early approach to psychology that examined the responses of people to particular stimuli. Tended to ignore mediation by social factors. See behaviouralism.
'betweenness' (of place)
The argument that the character of regions is dependent upon the subjective interpretations of people living within these areas, as well as the perceptions of those living outside. See place, social constructionism.
Poor-quality suburban areas of French cities occupied by immigrants. More recently termed banlieue.
Two-fold categorizations that succeed in dividing people and concepts (e.g. male/female, healthy/sick, sane/mad, heterosexual/homosexual, true/false, reality/fiction, authentic/fake). Can lead to exclusion or objectification.
biological analogy
The application of ideas from the plant and animal world to the study of urban residential patterns. See Chicago school, human ecology, social Darwinism.
biotic forces
A term used by the Chicago school to indicate the competitive economic forces within cities that lead to residential differentiation and segregation. See biological analogy, social Darwinism.
The practice undertaken by some estate agents of introducing black purchasers into predominantly white areas in the hope that the latter will sell-up and move out at deflated prices, thereby enabling the agents to resell the properties to new black families at higher prices.
Geographical and metaphorical spaces on the margin of dominant cultures where new hybrid forms of identity can emerge. See hybridity, liminal space, heterotopia, third space.
bunker architecture
Buildings designed to exclude certain sections of society. See gated communities, scanscape.

California School
The group of scholars who have interpreted the contemporary urban forms of Los Angeles as emblematic of city structures in a postmodern or post-Fordist society. Also termed the Los Angeles school. May also refer to the explanations for industrial agglomeration derived from transaction cost analysis and regulation theory. See new industrial spaces.
capability constraint
A term used in Hagerstrand's time-geography to indicate physical and biological constraints on daily activity. See authority constraint, coupling constraint.
Cartesian approach
The argument developed by Enlightenment philosopher Rene Descartes that the observer can be separated from the observed. See 'god trick'.
The increasing use of various non-core workers such as part-timers, temporary and agency workers. Also termed numerical flexibility.
The spatial regrouping of activities into larger units. May refer to reductions in numbers of service units of the welfare state or movements back into central cities. Contrast with decentralization.
charter group
The majority group within the dominant culture of a society.
Chicago School
The group of sociologists working in Chicago in the early part of the twentieth century. Noted for their studies of urban subcultures and the application of ideas from the plant and animal world to the study of residential patterns (known as human ecology). May also refer to a group of economists based in Chicago in the late twentieth century advocating monetarist economic policies.
circuit of production
The process of capitalist exploitation (also known as accumulation) in which capital or money (M) is invested in commodities (C) and labour power (LP) and the means of production (MP) to produce more commodities (C') which are then sold to acquire more money (M') in the form of profits. See time-space compression.
The relationship between individuals and the community and/or the state.
civic boosterism
Attempts by local governments to develop their local economies by attracting inward investment and through partnerships with private sector sources of capital. Also termed civic entrepreneurialism. See coalition building, growth coalitions, governance.
civic entrepreneurialism
See civic boosterism.
civil society
All the elements of society outside government including private-sector businesses, the family and the voluntary sector.
Material differences between groups of people.
classical Marxism
The ideas formulated by Karl Marx in the nineteenth century. Contrast with neo-Marxism.
The tendency for people with similar attributes such as class or ethnicity to live close to each other in cities. May also be termed segregation and residential differentiation. In extreme cases may constitute a ghetto. Also applied to geographical agglomerations of firms. See new industrial spaces.
coalition building
Formal and informal interest groups in cities combining to achieve political objectives. Linked to regime theory. See growth coalitions.
cognitive distance
A measure of the perceived (rather than just physical) distance that people feel from features in an urban area taking account of mental maps and the symbolic features of the environment.
collective consumption
Usually refers to goods and services provided by the public sector. Less often refers to services that, literally, have been consumed by a group of people in a collective manner (such as a lecture). The term originated in a neo-Marxist (or Marxian) theory formulated by Manuel Castells which argues that there are certain services that are crucial for the maintenance of capitalism but that are too expensive for provision by individual capitalist enterprises and therefore require provision through non-market means via the public sector. The theory also attempts to define cities as essentially places for the consumption of public services – a notion which has been much criticized. See neo-Marxism, public goods.
colonial discourse
The social practices and attitudes associated with colonialism. See discourse, imperialism, postcolonial theory.
The rule of one territory by another country through the creation of new settlements. The product of imperialism. See postcolonial theory.
A territory ruled by another country. Also used in an urban context to indicate a minority residential cluster that is a temporary phenomenon before the group is integrated into the wider society. Contrast with enclave, ghetto.
The tendency for publicly-owned organizations to behave like private-sector companies (such as through the imposition of user charges). Also termed proprietarization. See also corporatization.
The use of private markets rather than public-sector allocation mechanisms to allocate goods and services. Also termed recommodification and marketization.
commodification (of culture)
The ways in which local cultural forms are being supplanted by mass produced cultural forms. See McDonaldization.
commodity fetishism
The obsession of people with the acquisition of consumer goods. The term recognizes that these material objects not only have use value but also have symbolic value which reinforce social status or lifestyle. A key element of post-Fordist society. See aestheticization.
A much-used term with little specific meaning but usually refers to a social group characterized by dense networks of social interaction reflecting a common set of cultural values. Often, but not necessarily, geographically concentrated. See 'ethnic village', Gemeinschaft, neighbourhood.
community action
Political movements based in a local area usually defending a residential district against the intrusion of unwanted activities (sometimes termed community-defined politics, or 'turf' politics). See externality.
community care
Care for the needy in local communities either in small decentralized facilities or in private households – both supported by teams of community-based professionals. Associated with deinstitutionalization. A policy much criticized for inadequate funding and resources – hence the term care 'in' the community but not 'by' the community.
'community lost'
The argument that urbanization has destroyed community life. Contrast with 'community saved', 'community transformed'.
community politics
See community action.
'community saved'
The argument that communities still exist in urban areas. See 'ethnic village'. Contrast with 'community lost', Gesellschaft.
'community transformed'
The argument that new forms of community life have been created in suburban areas.
competitive tendering
A process through which contracts are awarded on the basis of competitive (usually secret) bidding by a variety of agencies according to specified criteria such as cost, quality and flexibility. See contracting-in.
compositional theory
A theory that examines the impacts of ethnicity, kinship, neighbourhood and occupation on behaviour in residential areas of cities. Similar to subcultural theory. Contrast with behaviourism.
concentric zone model
Burgess's idealized model of city structure based on Chicago in the 1920's in which social status increases in a series of concentric zones leading out from the city centre. See Chicago School, human ecology. Contrast with sectoral model.
The residential clustering of an ethnic minority through choice (rather than involuntary segregation brought about by structural constraints and discrimination).
The purchase and utilization of goods and services. See commodity fetishism.
contextual theory
A broad trend in social analysis characterized by a desire to understand the settings or contexts within which human behaviour takes place. These approaches seek to understand how people are influenced by, but at the same create, these contexts. See situatedness, structuration theory.
A situation in which a contract is won by a subdivision of the parent organization putting the work up for tender. See market testing.
A situation in which one organization contracts with another external organization for the provision of a good or service. Often associated with competitive tendering but this need not be the case. May also be termed subcontracting or distancing. See also market testing.
The use of contracts to govern the relationships between organizations and subdivisions within organizations. Increasingly used to allocate public services to private-sector companies, voluntary organizations or internal departments within the public sector. See contracting-in, contracting-out, internal markets.
Forms of social organization in which certain interest groups, usually certain sectors of business and organized labour, have privileged access to government. Characterized by collaboration to achieve economic objectives. See neo-corporatism, welfare corporatism.
An extreme form of commercialization in which publicly owned organizations behave in an identical manner to private-sector companies.
A term that recognizes that bodily images are not just the result of biological differences but are socially constructed through various signs and systems of meaning. Contrast with essentialism.
A subculture that is opposed to the dominant values in a society. See counter-site, heterotopia.
A space which is outside of the mainstream of society and reflects a counter-culture. See heterotopia.
coupling constraint
A term used in Hagerstrand's time-geography to indicate the constraint on human activity resulting from the need to interact on a face-to-face basis with other people. See authority constraint, capability constraint.
creative cities
Cities characterized by innovation in both manufacturing and services resulting from collective learning through interactions of diverse people in overlapping social and economic networks. See also new industrial spaces.
Originally used to denote the racial intermixing and cultural exchange of indigenous peoples with colonizers but also used to denote cultural mixing. See hybridity.
crowding theory
The idea that high-density living in urban areas leads to strains and tensions which can lead to aggression, withdrawal and high rates of mental and physical illness. An approach that tends to ignore the mediating effects of culture upon human behaviour. See behaviourism, determinist theory.
cultural capital
Ways of life and patterns of consumption that make people distinct and appear superior or dominant. See positional good. Also used to indicate skills and knowledge (as distinct from economic capital). Also termed human capital.
cultural imperialism
A term used by Iris Young to indicate the way in which society asserts that certain types of behaviour are 'natural' by marking out certain types of non-conforming behaviour as 'other', 'deviant' and 'non-natural'. See othering.
cultural industries
Industries in 'creative' spheres such as performing arts, design, advertising, entertainment, media and publishing. The term is also used in a theory that argues that cultural elements such as popular films, music and books have become mass produced in the same way as consumer goods such as cars.
cultural mode of production
The thesis that issues of culture have become dominant in the contemporary economies through factors such as the rise of the cultural industries; the aestheticization of material objects; and the use of notions of culture in modern management practices.
cultural myopia
The tendency to assume that the arrangements within a nation or culture are the only set of possible arrangements or that these are a superior approach to social organization.
cultural politics
A term that indicates that issues of culture are not just concerned with aesthetics, taste and style, but also involve issues of power and material rewards bound up with competing 'ways of life'. See identity politics.
cultural studies
A complex set of developments in social analysis which pay attention to the complexity of cultural values and meanings. See culture and 'cultural turn'.
cultural transmission
The idea that values and norms are transmitted from one generation to the next in local subcultures. See culture of poverty, neighbourhood effect, subculture, transmitted deprivation.
'cultural turn'
The tendency for many social sciences to pay greater attention to issues of culture. Also termed the linguistic turn because of the attention given to language and the ways in which ideas are represented. See poststructuralism, deconstruction.
This may be broadly interpreted as 'ways of life'. It consists of the values that people hold, the rules and norms they obey and the material objects they use. Also commonly regarded as systems of shared meanings (see discourses).
culture of poverty
The argument that poverty results from a distinctive culture. Closely related to the notion of transmitted deprivation.
culture of property
The ways in which a housing market in a nation or region is socially constructed by social institutions and social behaviour related to factors such as class and ethnicity.
A term devised by William Gibson in his novel Neuromancer and now used in a very broad sense to indicate developments in the sphere of advanced telecommunications. Similar to telematics.

A term used within structuration theory to indicate the time-span of people's lives. Contrast with durée and longue durée.
The movement of first people and later employment and services out of inner-city areas into suburban districts and then into more distant commuter hinterlands beyond city limits. May also refer to the fragmentation and geographical dispersal of organizational structures within manufacturing, services and the public sector. May be associated with devolution but the two policies are distinct. See deconcentration, delegation, edge cities, tapering.
decision rules
The criteria used by bureaucrats (usually but not necessarily in the public sector) to allocate resources in cities. Used to simplify decisions which have to be made frequently, they may not be made explicit. Also termed eligibility rules. See managerialism, social gatekeepers, 'street-level' bureaucrats.
Another name for decentralization. See delegation, devolution.
A form of analysis which examines the various discourses represented by various forms of representation (known as texts). These meanings are regarded as continually changing through the interactions of the reader/viewer and the text in question.
de facto territories
Areas that may be defined by reference to factors such as common interests or lifestyles (rather than just in legal terms). Contrast with de jure territories.
The devolution of responsibilities for welfare policies from federal government to states in the United States. Associated with capped budgets and a series of policies known as workfare. See decentralization, 'hollowing out', post-welfare state.
defensible space
The argument that recent housing developments lack spaces that people can identify with, survey or exert control over.
A term preferred by some to deinstitutionalization in recognition of the fact that community-based care can involve small institutional settings. See community care.
The decline in manufacturing activity both in terms of jobs and contribution to national output. See post-industrial cities.
The closure of institutions providing long-term care for needy groups and their replacement by various alternative forms of care including purpose-built or converted smaller facilities and care within private households by families supported by teams of community-based professionals such as nurses, doctors and social workers. See community care, rationalization, reinstitutionalization, self-provisioning, domestication.
de jure territories
Geographical areas defined according to the law (i.e. with legal powers as in political and administrative regions). Contrast with functional urban areas. See jurisdictional partitioning.
A form of decentralization in which certain functions and managerial responsibilities are delegated to neighborhood offices but where local autonomy tends to be severely restricted by central responsibility for expenditure and targets. Contrast with deconcentration, devolution.
Attempts by central governments to reduce the powers and responsibilities of local governments. Applied especially to the sale of local authority housing in the United Kingdom in combination with restrictions on new public-sector housing construction. See governance, ghettoization, residualization.
Policies designed to increase competition by breaking up state monopolies and introducing a number of private agencies to provide goods and services. May also be applied to the deregulation of labour markets through policies to erode workers' rights and to increase labour flexibility. See commodification, marketization.
design determinism
Studies of the impact of the physical environment and architectural design upon human behaviour. See behaviourism, crowding theory, defensible space.
Strategies to reduce the skill levels and knowledge required in particular occupations.
determinist theory
An approach which draws upon behaviourist notions to argue that city living affects behaviour. See Gesellschaft, 'psychological overload'.
The destabilized nature of identity and meaning within post-modern society. See deconstruction.
deviant subgroup
A group within society that has values and norms substantially different from the majority population. May be expressed in residential differentiation. Also termed deviant subculture. See culture.
The subdivision of organizations into separate units each with their own budgets. Usually associated with devolution of responsibilities and with enhanced performance monitoring of the units. See also decentralization.
A form of reasoning or analysis involving the use and possible reconciliation of opposites. See sociospatial dialectic.
Diaspora (diasporic group)
The movement, either voluntarily or forced, or people from their homeland to a new territory.
A term that recognizes the ways in which differences among categories are socially constructed in relation to one another. See binaries. Contrast with essentialism.
disciplinary regimes
Processes through which social control is exercised: socialization, the construction of dominant discourses and surveillance. See disciplinary society.
disciplinary society
A society in which control is exercised through socialization processes as manifest in schools, hospitals and factories. See interpellation, micropowers.
Sets of meanings that are indicated by various texts which form a way of understanding the world. See deconstruction.
discursive practices
The words, signs, symbols and ideas that are used to represent material practices.
disfigured city
The city that is unplanned and inhabited by deprived groups. Contrast with figured city.
The conscious creation of the 'theme park' city characterized by a superficial veneer of culture and often a sanitized view of history which ignores social conflict. See imagineering, simulacra.
distance-decay effect
The tendency for those who live furthest away from the sources of goods and services to consume them less often. This is usually attributed to the increased travel costs or the increased time involved in visiting the source of supply. Also known as tapering.
The tendency for interactions and communications between people to be stretched across time and space through the use of books, newspapers, telephones, faxes and the Internet. Also termed space-time distanciation.
Another term for contracting-out – a situation when one organization contracts with another external organization for the provision of a good or service.
domestic economy
Work done within households (either informally by the family or other members of the household or formally through directly purchased services). See domestication, self-provisioning.
The use of family and household labour. This strategy has been forced upon some households (and usually women within them) through the run-down of state provision. See community care.
A term used by the Chicago School to indicate the process whereby certain land uses and types of people come to dominate particular parts of cities. Also used in a general sense to indicate unequal power relations. See human ecology.
double hermeneutic
The need for researchers to be aware of their own values as well as those of the people they are studying. See hermeneutics, situatedness.
dual cities
Large metropolitan centres characterized by disparities in wealth and status and/or a trend towards increasing social inequality. See global cities, social polarization.
A term used within structuration theory to indicate the time span of daily routines. See dasein, life-world, longue durée.

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ecocentric approach
Various types of ecological movement united by a belief that environmental problems can be addressed only by a fundamental change in the capitalist system involving greater decentralized participatory democracy. Contrast with technocentric approach.
ecological approach
A term used to denote spatial or geographical analysis of cities. May also refer to human ecology, the application of ideas concerning the distribution of plants and animals to the study of urban social geography. See Chicago School.
ecological fallacy
The potential mistakes that can arise when making inferences about individuals from data based on aggregate information (such as for residential areas within cities). See individualistic fallacy.
ecological modernization
See technocentric approach.
economic determinism
Theories that attempt to relate social changes directly to underlying economic changes in society and that play down the ability of people to make decisions to affect their destinies. Contrast with voluntarism.
economic status
The name frequently given to one of the main dimensions of urban residential structure as shown by factorial ecology – variations in the extent of wealth. See ethnic status, family status, social rank.
economies of scale
Factors that cause the average cost of a commodity to fall as the scale of output increases. There are two main types: external economies of scale and internal economies of scale. A crucial part of Fordism.
economies of scope
Factors that make it cheaper to produce a range of commodities rather than to produce each of the individual items on their own. See external economies of scope and internal economies of scope. A crucial part of post-Fordism.
edge cities
A term coined by the journalist Joel Garreau to describe recent urban developments outside large metropolitan areas characterized by decentralized nodes of offices and shopping malls. See decentralization, exopolis.
eligibility rules
The criteria used by social gatekeepers to determine who has access to scarce resources in cities. These may be explicit or tacit. Usually applied to public officials such as housing managers but may also be applied to the private sector (e.g. estate agents and bankers). Also called decision rules.
The tendency for shops and other places within cities to copy images from other places in other times. See placelessness, simulacra.
The notion that economic behaviour is not determined by universal values that are invariant (as in neo-classical economics) but is intimately related to cultural values that may be highly specific in time and space. Also termed social embeddedness. See culture, situatedness.
embodied knowledge
Ideas and concepts that attempt to avoid the mind/body division of the Cartesian approach and recognize that knowledge emerges from people in particular contexts. Also termed local knowledge. See embeddedness, situatedness.
The process through which the body is socially constructed through wider systems of meaning. See corporeality, embodied knowledge.
embourgeoisement thesis
The argument that working-class people moving into suburban areas adopt middle-class lifestyles based around consumption and the nuclear family. See commodity fetishism.
empowerment zones
An urban regeneration policy in the United States characterized by collaboration between public bodies, private enterprises and community groups. See enterprise zones.
enabling state
A key element of the new mode of governance and urban entrepreneurialism in which the direct role of the state is reduced and replaced by greater partnership between government and business interests. See coalition building, contracting-out, 'hollowing out', regime theory.
The name for a residential cluster of an ethnic minority that is a long-term phenomenon, although generally not as segregated as a ghetto. Contrast with colony.
enlightenment project (movement)
The broad trend in Western intellectual thought, beginning in the Renaissance, which attempted to analyze and control society through principles of scientific analysis and rational thought. See Cartesian approach, modernism, social engineering.
enterprise zones
Zones in which special incentives such as tax exemptions or reduced planning regulations are used to encourage economic development.
environmental conditioning
The argument that people's behaviour is strongly influenced by their social environment. Often applied to explain the lack of social and intellectual skills of those brought up in environments lacking in sensory stimulation. See behaviouralism, cultural transmission. Contrast with behaviourism.
The notion that there are basic, unvarying, elements that determine, or strongly affect, the behaviour of people and social systems (e.g. the idea that there are inherent differences in the behaviour of men and women, or basic immutable laws of economics that govern capitalist societies). Contrast with anti-essentialism. See also social constructionism.
ethnic group
A minority group whose members share a distinctive culture. This is conceptually different from the notion of a racial group but in practice the two are intimately linked. See ethnicity.
ethnic status
The name frequently given to one of the main dimensions of urban residential structure as shown by factorial ecology – variations in the extent of ethnicity. See family status, social rank.
'ethnic village'
A minority group that exhibits residential differentiation within a city and a distinctive culture characterized by dense social networks.
The culture and lifestyle of an ethnic group, often manifest in a distinctive residential area of a city. Contrast with racial group. See ghetto.
The assumption that one culture is superior to others. Usually applied to Western assumptions of technological and moral superiority. Called Eurocentrism when European culture is seen as superior.
The study of culture, especially the values and norms of minority ethnic groups. Often linked to qualitative research methods such as participant observation and semi- or unstructured questionnaires.
exchange value
The amount which a commodity such as housing can command on the market. Related to, but conceptually different from, use value.
Social processes whereby certain kinds of people are prevented from gaining access to various types of resources (including public services). These may be non-material resources such as prestige. See eligibility rules, social closure.
exclusionary closure
Another name for processes whereby powerful groups exclude other groups from wealth, status, and power. May be called social closure.
exclusionary zoning
Planning policies that restrict certain types of activity and people from moving into a local government area. See purified communities.
'exit' option
A strategy of out-migration from an area in the wake of a problem. Contrast with 'loyalty' and 'voice' options.
Ed Soja's term to describe the idea (or discourse) of the city as an 'inside-out' metropolis characterized by edge cities. See postmodern global metropolis.
expressive interaction
Secondary relationships involving some intrinsic satisfaction (such as joining a sports club). Contrast with instrumental interaction.
extensive regime of accumulation
A phase of capitalist development during which profits were enhanced primarily through increasing the amount of output and expanding the scale of the market, rather than through increasing the productivity of workers. A key concept in certain forms of regulation theory. Contrast with the intensive regime of accumulation and flexible accumulation.
external economies of scale
Factors that reduce the cost of production when the industry to which the firm belongs is large (e.g. the development of specialist suppliers, services and skilled workers). These factors apply irrespective of the size of the individual firm. Contrast with internal economies of scale.
external economies of scope
Economies of scope that arise when the industry to which the firm belongs is large (i.e. there are a large number of producers). Contrast with internal economies of scope.
An unpriced effect resulting from activities in cities. May be a benefit received by those who have not directly paid for it, or a cost (or disbenefit) incurred by those who have not been compensated. Also termed a spillover and third-party effect. May lead to free-riders.
externalization (of production)
The tendency for firms to subcontract work to other organizations (also termed vertical disintegration). Usually interpreted as a response to increasing market volatility and technological change as well as a desire to reduce costs. Also related to declining internal economies of scale.

'fabric' effect
A situation in which the physical structure of the housing market has an impact on the distribution of a social group in a city. Usually applied to the impact of cheaper accommodation on the location of ethnic minorities.
factor analysis
A multivariate quantitative technique used to summarize the main patterns in a complex set of data. Technically very similar to principal components analysis. See factorial ecology.
factorial ecology
The application of factor analysis and principal components analysis to the study of residential patterns in cities. See ecological approach, human ecology.
family status
The name frequently given to one of the main dimensions of urban residential structure as shown by factorial ecology – variations in the extent of nuclear family lifestyles. See ethnic status and social rank.
A broad social movement advocating equal rights for men and women. Also various forms of academic analysis that attempt to expose the diverse processes that lead women to be oppressed. See gender, patriarchy, sexism.
feminist geography
Geographical analysis that is committed to achieving equal rights for men and women by exposing existing and past inequalities between the sexes.
The increasing numbers and influence of women in certain spheres of life. Usually applied to the workplace.
festival retailing
Shopping complexes characterized by 'spectacular' elements. See commodity fetishism, spectacle.
Exaggerating the importance of a particular theory, principle, concept or factor in social analysis (such as overemphasizing the role of 'space' in isolation of social processes). Used originally to indicate ways of obscuring class conflict. See commodity fetishism.
figured city
The city that is planned and organized for the affluent. Contrast with disfigured city. See also revanchist city.
The thesis argued by Homer Hoyt that the primary motor behind residential mobility is the construction of new dwellings for the wealthy, thereby leading to out-migration of the more affluent from older properties and their occupation by persons of lower social class. See sectoral model. Contrast with invasion model of residential mobility.
fiscal imbalance
Disparities between the needs of urban areas and the available resources to meet these needs. Commonly associated with central or inner city local governments in U.S. cities. See suburban exploitation thesis.
fiscal mercantilism
Attempts by local governments to increase local revenues by attracting lucrative taxable land uses. Similar to civic boosterism and civic entrepreneurialism.
fiscal stress
See fiscal imbalance.
The act of being a flaneur.
A leisurely stroller observing the bustle of city life. Also applied to those who browse through the Internet. See gaze.
A set of policies designed to increase the capacity of firms to adjust their outputs to variations in market demand and, or, to reduce the costs of production. May be applied to forms of industrial organization and to labour practices as well as to both private- and public-sector bodies. See also functional flexibility, numerical flexibility.
flexible accumulation
The idea that the intensive regime of accumulation has been replaced by a new regime in which the prime emphasis is upon flexibility of production. See also regulation theory, post-Fordism, flexibilization, flexible specialization.
flexible specialization
The idea that mass production using unskilled workers is being replaced by batch production of specialized products in small companies using skilled workers. Has similarities with the concept of post-Fordism in regulation theory but is highly voluntarist in approach and is less concerned with matching industrial change to wider economic forces. See voluntarism.
forces of production
The technological basis of a particular mode of production. See also social relations of production.
A system of industrial organization established by Henry Ford in Detroit at the beginning of the twentieth century for the mass production of automobiles. In regulation theory the concept refers to a regime of accumulation which was dominant after the Second World War based on Keynesianism, mass production and the welfare state.
'fortress cities'
Cities characterized by social inequality, crime, violence and protective strategies in local neighbourhoods designed to exclude groups regarded as dangerous. See gated communities, social polarization, 'scanscape', surveillance.
Those who obtain benefits in cities that they have not directly paid for. See externality, suburban exploitation thesis.
functional flexibility
The capacity of firms (and public-sector organizations) to deploy the skills of their employees to match the changing tasks required by variations in workload.
A type of reasoning incorporated, either explicitly or implicitly, into a great deal of social theory that is characterized by a number of limitations including: attributing 'needs' to social systems; assuming that social systems are functionally ordered and cohesive; assuming teleology in social systems (i.e. that events can only be explained by movement towards some pre-ordained end); assuming effects as causes; and assuming empirically unverified or unverifiable statements as tautological statements (i.e. true by definition). May also be used to refer to a form of managerial philosophy that advocates the subdivision of organizations around particular tasks and responsibilities.
functionalist sociology
An approach to social theory, of which the sociologist Talcott Parsons was the principal exponent, that attempts to explain social phenomena in terms of their function in maintaining society. See functionalism, system.
functional urban areas
Cities or urban areas defined as geographical agglomerations of people predominantly engaged in non-agricultural occupations who are integrated by overlapping journey-to-work patterns. May not correspond with de jure territories.

galactic metropolis
Another term for the postmodern city in which urban areas are spread around like stars, rather than forming a single, easily identifiable, centre. See postmodernism, postmodern global metropolis.
gated communities
Residential areas of cities with protective measures such as barriers, fences, gates and private security guards designed to exclude social groups deemed undesirable and dangerous. See fortress cities, purified communities, panopticon, 'scanscape', spaces of exclusion.
gay ghetto
A residential area of a city characterized by a high concentration of gay people. See ghetto, ghettoization.
The surveillance, scrutiny and analysis of peoples and places by observers (traditionally men). Often linked to the idea that these observers can provide a privileged, objective, value-free description of the world. Known as the imperial gaze when linked with colonialism. See also Cartesian approach, mimetic approach. Disputed by social constructionism.
Tight-knit social relationships based around family and kin which Tönnies argued were manifest in traditional agrarian environments. Contrast with Gesellschaft.
Social, psychological and cultural differences between men and women (rather than biological differences of sex). See feminism, heteropatriarchy, patriarchy, sexism.
gender roles
'Masculine' and 'feminine' ways of performing that are derived from gender. See performativity.
genius loci
The idea that there is a unique 'spirit' of a place, sometimes captured in novels, poetry and painting.
The renovation and renewal of run-down inner-city environments through an influx of more affluent persons such as middle-class professionals. Has led to the displacement of poorer citizens. Associated with the development of gay areas in some cities.
geographical imagination
The need for geographers to understand the diversity of cultural values of those they study in different places (and to recognize the influence of their own values upon the frameworks they use to represent these people). See contextual theory, situatedness.
The manipulation of the boundaries of electoral subdivisions to gain political advantage.
Loose-knit social relationships between people which Tönnies argued were manifest in urbanized environments. Contrast with Gemeinschaft.
The geographical concentration of social groups. Tends to imply a high degree of involuntary segregation. Usually applied to ethnic minorities but may also refer to older people, gays and lesbians, single parents or those who are mentally ill. See colony, enclave, service-dependent ghetto.
Social trends and public policies that lead to geographical concentrations of social groupings, including deprived groups, elderly people, single parents, mentally ill people or ethnic minorities, often in public-sector or social housing estates. The term usually implies involuntary clustering. See residualization, demunicipalization.
global cities
Cities with a substantial presence of activities such as producer (i.e. business) services that are connected with the global financial economy (e.g. New York, London, Paris). Characterized by conspicuous consumption and social polarization.
The tendency for economies and national political systems to become integrated at a global scale. Also the tendency for the emergence of a global culture (i.e. universal trends that, it is argued, are sweeping through all nations). See global cities.
global-local nexus
The relationships (and tensions) between forces of globalization and the distinctive features of local areas (e.g. the desire of transnationals to manufacture at a global level yet be sensitive to the needs of particular local markets).
The ways in which developments in particular places are the outcome of both local and global forces. See globalization, global-local nexus.
'god trick'
A term used by Donna Haraway to draw attention to the assumption of value-free neutrality incorporated into many scientific studies of society (i.e. the capacity to see 'everything from nowhere'). Disputed in social constructionism. See situatedness, poststructuralism.
Golden Age (of Fordism)
The period from 1945 until the mid-1970s when Fordism was at its height in Western economies. Also known as the 'Long Boom' (of Fordism).
All the methods by which societies are governed. The term is used to indicate the shift away from direct government control of the economy and society via hierarchical bureaucracies towards indirect control via diverse non-governmental organizations. Associated with the demise of local government. May also be termed urban governance. See 'hollowing out', quango, quasi-state.
grands ensembles
Large-scale, high density and typically high-rise developments of social housing in suburban areas of French cities.
growth coalitions
Partnerships of private and public-sector interests that implement strategies to enhance the economic development of cities and regions, largely through attracting inward investment, mostly from the private sector but also from public funds. Also termed civic boosterism and civic entrepreneurialism. See regime theory. Coalitions may also be anti-growth. See exclusionary zoning.

The term coined by the social theorist Pierre Bourdieu to indicate the culture associated with people's life-world which involves both material and discursive elements.
hegemonic discourse
The prevailing ideology, or dominant set of ideas, in society. See discourses, hegemony.
Domination through consent, largely induced by hegemonic discourse, that shapes people's attitudes. See interpellation. May be reflected in the iconography of landscapes and buildings.
heritage landscapes
Older elements of city structure that have been preserved through renovation or conversion to new uses.
Theories that examine the complexity of people's views, ideas and subjective interpretations of the world around them.
heteropatriarchal environment
An area in which the values of patriarchy and heterosexuality are dominant (i.e. most parts of cities).
A term which recognizes that the system of patriarchy is dominated by heterosexual values.
A term used by Michel Foucault to denote spaces comprising many diverse cultures outside, and in opposition to, the mainstream of society. Sometimes called a counter-site. May also be used in a general sense to refer to the culture of postmodernism. See also alterity, borderlands, liminal space, spaces of resistance, third space.
historical materialism
The philosophy that underpins classical Marxism which argues that there is a material base – the means of production – that is the foundation of all social action.
'hollowing out'
The transfer of powers from the nation-state to political units at other levels such as the supranational or subnational level. May also refer to the transfer of powers at the local government level to private-sector organizations rather than other political jurisdictions. Also used to refer to the contracting-out of activities by private corporations. See governance.
The geographical space to which a national or ethnic group feels that it naturally belongs. Often associated with diasporic groups who long for return to their place of origin. May also be used to denote the family home as a place of safety and retreat.
Mutual emotional and physical attraction between people of the same sex. The term is resisted by many gays and lesbians because it stems from the period when same sex attraction was seen as a social disease. See queer.
housing associations
The not-for-profit voluntary sector of housing provision in the United Kingdom.
housing submarkets
Distinctive types of housing in localized areas of cities which, through various institutional mechanisms, tend to be inhabited by people of a particular type (e.g., in terms of class, age or ethnicity). See culture of property, fabric effect, managerialism.
human agency
Another term for agency. See voluntarism.
human ecology
The application of ideas from the plant and animal worlds to the study of residential patterns in cities. An approach of the Chicago School.
The idea that people share a common humanity (i.e. similar characteristics which can explain human behaviour). Disputed by discourse theory.
A term used in postcolonial studies to indicate the new forms that are created by the merging of cultures. Linked in the past with imperialist notions of racial superiority (which were considered to be undermined by racial interbreeding) but now alludes to the fact that identities are not stable but full of ambivalence. Criticized for assuming that cultures can mix in an unproblematic manner through a process of assimilation. See liminal space, third space. Also termed synergy, transculturation.
Sets of signs within forms of representation such as advertising which have internal meanings with each other, rather than with some underlying reality. May also be thought of as copies that become more important than, or take on separate meanings from, the originals they represent. See simulacra.
An environment dominated by hyperreality (such as Disneyland).

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An image, landscape, building or other material artefact that symbolizes cultural meanings. See iconography.
The study of signs known as icons. Similar to semiology but is especially concerned with landscapes. May reflect dominant power relations and the hegemony in society.
ideal type
A notion derived from ideal type analysis which attempts to simplify and exaggerate key elements of reality for the sake of conceptual and analytic clarity.
The elements that make up the view that people take of themselves (e.g. class, race, age, place, etc.). In cultural studies identity is seen as the unstable product of discourse – hence use of the plural term identities. Contrast with essentialism. See also interpellation, subjectivity.
identity politics
Political action based around particular identities. Often used to refer to political action other than class conflict (e.g. gay rights or disability action groups). May be related to place. See community action.
ideological superstructure
Sets of institutions such as schools and the family that reinforce ideas that serve the interests of the wealthy and powerful. These are distinguished from the underlying economic base. Also termed state apparatuses. See relative autonomy.
Ideas which support the interests of the wealthy and powerful. May also be used in a general sense to refer to any belief system.
imaginative geographies
The way in which we project our own attitudes and beliefs in representations of people and places. See geographical imagination.
imagined communities
A term coined by Benedict Andersen to describe the discourses used to construct senses of national identity.
The conscious creation of places with characteristics similar to other places (as in Disneyland). Often seen as the creation of a superficial veneer or facade of culture. See Disneyfication, elsewhereness, McDonaldization, placelessness, simulacra.
The actions and attitudes of a country that dominates distant territories. Often associated with dominant metropolitan centres. Contrasts with colonialism.
impersonal competition
An idea emerging from the Chicago School of human ecology referring to the economic processes that distribute people into residential areas of differing wealth and status.
index of dissimilarity
A quantitative measure of the extent to which a minority group is residentially segregated within a city. See segregation.
individualistic fallacy
The potential mistakes that can arise when attempting to make inferences about groups of people (such as in residential neighbourhoods) based on information for individuals. Contrast with the ecological fallacy.
industrial cities
Cities of the type that emerged in the nineteenth century dominated by manufacturing activity (sometimes called 'smokestack cities'). Contrast with post-industrial cities.
informal economy
Economic activity that is unrecorded (also known as the 'hidden' economy).
information economy
The growing importance of knowledge (both scientific, technical and fashion-related) in contemporary economies. See aestheticization.
informational city
Manuel Castells's term for the city structures associated with the information economy. See cyberspace, space of flows.
The idea that the social structures do not exist 'out there' independently of people but are continually created by people through their everyday interactions. See structuration theory, recursiveness.
instrumental interaction
Secondary relationships designed to achieve a particular objective, such as joining a business organization. Contrast with expressive interaction.
The theory that both the central and local state serve the interests of capitalist ruling classes, who are represented by the upper-class social background of key politicians, law-makers, bureaucrats and officials. Contrast with pluralism.
Increases in labour productivity through managerial and organizational changes.
intensive regime of accumulation
A period of history during which profits were enhanced through increasing the efficiency with which inputs to the production system were used. Also termed Fordism. See regulation theory, regime of accumulation.
The idea that physical objects (including buildings) have no intrinsic meanings in themselves but only take on meanings in relation to their intended use.
internal economies of scale
Factors that lower the cost of production for a firm, irrespective of the size of the industry to which the firm belongs. These factors usually involve high levels of output which lead to the possibility of specialist machines that can increase rates of productivity and which thereby help to recoup the costs of installing such machinery. Contrast with external economies of scale. See also Fordism.
internal economies of scope
Factors that lower the cost of production when the number of products made within the firm increases. When internal economies of scope begin to decline they can lead to vertical disintegration as firms take advantage of external economies of scope. See new industrial spaces.
internal markets
Attempts to introduce market mechanisms within public-sector organizations by dividing them up into separate units for the purchase and supply of services and by establishing various contracts and trading agreements between these agencies.
The discourses that shape the view that people take of themselves (e.g. as in regard to concepts of citizenship). Used in conjunction with Marxian notions of hegemonic discourse. See state apparatuses, subjectivity.
The shared sets of meanings that people have about themselves (and where they live) resulting from their everyday experience. See life-world.
The continually changing meanings that result from the interactions between the reader/observer and the text. Part of a form of analysis known as deconstruction. Contrast with mimetic approach.
A concept derived from the study of plants and animals used by the Chicago School of human ecology to refer to the process whereby a new social group may begin to 'invade' a residential district. Contrast with filtering. See also succession.
inverse-care law
The idea that welfare services such as healthcare are poorest in the most needy areas. Evidence is contradictory so this is a tendency rather than a law. See race preference hypothesis, territorial justice, underclass.
investment and technical change
Capital investment in new forms of machinery and equipment. Often associated with employment loss.

joint supply
The idea that some goods and services have characteristics such that if they can be supplied to one person, they can be supplied to all other persons at no extra cost. See theory of public goods.
jurisdictional partitioning
The subdivision of nation states into political and administrative units with responsibility for the allocation of goods and services. See balkanization, de jure territories.

keno capitalism
A model of city structure derived from Los Angeles which consists of a random set of elements (hence the analogy with random cards drawn in the game of keno). The antithesis of the centralized industrial city. See postmodern global metropolis, exopolis.
A set of policies underpinning the welfare state in the 1950s and 1960s. The objective was to manage economies by countering the lack of demand in recessions through government spending – hence the term 'demand management'. This approach was undermined by inflation and high unemployment in the 1970s. A key element of Fordism.
Keynesian welfare state (KWS)
A welfare state underpinned by Keynesian demand-management policies. Also characterized by universal benefits, citizens' rights and increasing standards of provision through the social wage. See also Keynesianism, welfare statism.

labour theory of value
Karl Marx's explanation for the creation of value in capitalist societies. The idea that the value of products should not reflect their exchange value in markets but their use value – the amount of socially necessary labour that goes into their production. See surplus value.
The ideology that underpinned many capitalist societies in the nineteenth century which argued that the state should not intervene in the operation of private markets. See New Right.
late capitalism
The idea that capitalism has reached a phase that is fundamentally different from previous eras characterized by globalization, mass consumption of diverse products and a culture of postmodernism involving moral relativism. Sometimes equated with flexible accumulation or post-Fordism.
late modernism
Anthony Giddens's interpretation of the cultural and political practices associated with postmodernism. Rather than constituting a rupture with the modernism of the past, Giddens sees the contemporary period as a late stage of modernism characterized by a high degree of reflexivity among both intellectuals and citizens. Also characterized by militarism and surveillance.
legitimizing agent
An institution that makes the capitalist system acceptable through promulgating certain ideas and/or by acting in a particular fashion (e.g. through the provision of social housing or ideas of citizenship in education). See hegemony, hegemonic discourse, ideology, local state.
A set of ideas that underpins the Western democracies. Characterized by a belief in the value of the individual whose rights should not be subordinated to those of society as a whole; tolerance for opposing views; and a belief in equality of opportunity rather than equality of outcomes. See also neo-liberalism, libertarianism, New Right.
A form of New Right theory which argues that, apart from preserving property rights, the state should leave individuals free to do whatever they wish.
The routine patterns of everyday life. The concept is closely linked with phenomenology and focuses upon the cultural meanings that people ascribe to the spaces that they inhabit. See habitus, time-geography.
liminal space
An in-between space or territory in which cultures mix and interact to create new hybrid forms. See ambivalence, borderlands, heterotopia, hybridity, paradoxical space, third space.
linguistic turn
Another term for the cultural turn in social science denoting the increased attention paid to language and issue of representation.
local economic trading systems (LETS)
Groups of people in a local area involved in economic activity using a system of credit based around the exchange of goods and services instead of the national currency.
local knowledge
Another name for embodied knowledge. See situatedness.
local state
Another term for local government. Also associated with a Marxian theory which interprets local governments as serving to maintain the capitalist system and the class interests behind it. See functionalism.
Distinctive settings or contexts in which interactions between people take place. See structuration theory, recursiveness.
locality studies
A type of study undertaken predominantly by geographers in Britain in the 1980s which attempted to examine how global forces interacted with the characteristics of local areas.
The belief in a world composed of a central inner meaning and logic.
'long boom' (of Fordism)
The period after the Second World War between 1945 and the mid-1970s when, according to regulation theory, there was in the Western economies a relatively harmonious matching of production and consumption. See Fordism, regime of accumulation.
longue durée
A term used in structuration theory to indicate the time-span over which social institutions such as the family and legal system evolve. See dasein, durée.
Los Angeles School
Another term for the California School. See also postmodern global metropolis.
'loyalty' option
A strategy of resignation and inactivity in the face of a problem. Contrast with 'exit' and 'voice' options.

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Electoral subdivisions of unequal size. See gerrymandering.
A type of analysis that focuses upon the influence of managers upon access to scarce resources and local services. Also known as urban managerialism. These managers are also known as social gatekeepers and 'street-level' bureaucrats. See eligibility rules.
manipulated city hypothesis
The argument that coalitions of private interests can operate through legal and institutional frameworks in cities to achieve favourable resource allocations. See coalition building, growth coalitions, parapolitical structure, regime theory.
Areas on the fringes of a dominant region. May also be used metaphorically to indicate cultures on the fringes of dominant cultures where new hybrid identities are being formed. See borderlands, hybridity.
Transferring the allocation of goods and services from non-market to market principles. See internal markets, commodification.
market testing
A process whereby various external organizations are invited to bid for contracts by an organization wishing to test the efficiency of its own internal division in supplying the good or service in question. See contracting-in, contracting-out.
Marxian theory
see neo-Marxism.
An approach that privileges and represents as normal the activities of men.
Restructuring a service into a physical form which can be bought, sold and transported.
material practices
Flows of money, goods and people across space to facilitate accumulation and social reproduction.
A term coined by G. Ritzer to indicate the ways in which processes of mass consumption are eroding cultural differences throughout the world. See globalization.
Manuel Castells' term for large cities in which some people are connected up to global information flows whilst others are disconnected and 'information poor'.
Jean Gottman's term for multi-city, multi-centred, urban regions.
mental map
The mental images that people form of areas. See cognitive distance.
merit goods
Goods and services that are regarded as so desirable they cannot be left to private markets and are allocated by the public sector. The reason for this is that the benefits to the community exceed those to the individual, so that the latter will tend to consume too little for the common good.
A term denoting both geographical and metaphorical spaces on the margins of dominant cultures where new hybrid forms of identity can emerge. See also borderlands, heterotopia, hybridity, liminal space, third space.
A theory or conceptual framework that purports to be a superior way of looking at the world providing privileged insights. Also known as a totalizing narrative. See also postmodernism, deconstruction.
metropolitan fragmentation
The administrative subdivision of U.S. cities into numerous local governments. Also known as balkanization and jurisdictional partitioning.
Everyday interactions through which social control becomes exercised. See disciplinary regimes, recursiveness.
mimetic approach
The idea that writing and other forms of representation are mirrors that reflect the world around us. Contrast with social constructionism.
A term used in postcolonial theory to indicate the copying of the culture of the dominant group by a colonized people. May lead to an undermining of authority through the development of hybridity and mockery. See ambivalence, liminal space, third space.
minority group
A subgroup of society that is characterized by factors such as race, religion, nationality, or culture.
mixed economies of welfare
A system in which welfare needs are met by a diverse set of agencies including the voluntary and private sectors rather than exclusively by the state. Also termed welfare pluralism.
mode of production
The way in which productive activity in society is organized (e.g. socialist or capitalist). It comprises the forces of production and the social relations of production. It also involves methods of social reproduction , the social division of labour and the technical division of labour.
mode of regulation
An idea central to regulation theory that asserts that conflicts within a capitalist society are mediated by various types of norms, rules and regulations which are manifest in various types of legislation and institutions. See also regime of accumulation.
A mode of thinking characterized by a belief in universal progress through scientific analysis together with the notion that social problems can be solved by the application of rational thought. See enlightenment project, social engineering.
The period in which modernism was the dominant mode of thinking beginning in the late eighteenth century (the Age of Enlightenment) and lasting until the late twentieth century.
monumental architecture
Architectural forms that symbolize power and authority. See iconography, monuments.
Elements of the landscape that have symbolic meaning, usually for national and ethnic groups (e.g. war memorials).
Processes that create and reshape the physical fabric of urban form.
morphological regions
Areas characterized by distinctive land uses, buildings and landscapes. See morphogenesis.
Public policies that support the right of ethnic groups to maintain their distinctive cultures rather than become part of the dominant culture of the society.
Companies engaged in production and marketing in more than one country. Sometimes regarded as synonymous with transnationals although the latter has a slightly different meaning.
multiple deprivation
A situation where people are deprived in respect of a number of attributes such as income, housing, healthcare and education. See territorial social indicators.
multiple nuclei model
Harris and Ullman's model of urban city structure characterized by decentralization and no overall pattern. See also edge cities, exopolis, keno capitalism . Contrast with concentric zone model and sectoral model.
multiplex city
A metaphor based on the theatre or the cinema to indicate cities characterized by numerous webs of social and economic interaction, only some of which meet in creative ways and some of which remain isolated or disconnected.
municipal socialism
A form of local government which emerged in Victorian cities between 1850 and 1910 concerned to extend the scope of public services.

natural areas
An idea formulated by the Chicago School of human ecology which asserts that certain areas of cities have a natural tendency to reflect a particular type of land use or social grouping. See dominance.
Territories containing people of broadly similar demographic, economic and social characteristics but without necessarily displaying elements of close community interaction. See community.
neighbourhood effect
The hypothesis that residential environments both influence and reflect local subcultures. See cultural transmission.
neo-classical economics
Attempts to update the ideas of the classical economists of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Characterized by a belief in the value of market mechanisms. The approach tends to focus upon microlevel individual market problems rather than wider economic issues. It looks for universal, unchanging principles of human economic behaviour and tends to ignore the social context of economic activity. Contrast with embeddedness and situatedness.
Corporatist forms of social organization designed to increase the competitiveness of the economy. See Schumpeterian workfare state. Contrast with neo-liberalism and neo-statism.
Various strategies designed to overcome the problems inherent in the Fordist regime of accumulation but without fundamentally transforming it. This may be regarded as a transition period until a new regime of accumulation emerges. See Fordism, regulation theory, mode of regulation.
Strategies to make economies competitive by various types of New Right policy including privatization and deregulation. Contrast with neo-corporatism and neo-statism>. (May sometimes be referred to as neo-classical liberalism.)
Attempts to upgrade classical Marxist theories in the light of developments in social theory and society in the twentieth century. Also termed Marxian and post-Marxist theories.
Attempts to update pluralism in the wake of extensive criticism.
Direct state intervention to achieve international competitiveness. Contrast with neo-corporatism and neo-liberalism.
new industrial spaces
The geographical concentration of firms involved in dense networks of subcontracting and collaboration. Often related to innovative firms in sectors such as electronics and biotechnology. Also termed 'industrial districts' (although the latter term is often applied to small districts within cities). May be linked with flexible specialization and post-Fordism.
New Right
A set of ideas that share a common belief in the superiority of market mechanisms as the most efficient means of ensuring the production and distribution of goods and services.
New social movements
See social movements and identity politics.
'New wave' management theory
A set of ideas that stress the advantages of demolishing elaborate managerial hierarchies and their replacement by 'leaner/flatter' managerial structures. Often associated with devolution.
Nimby ('Not In My Backyard')
An acronym for community action groups hostile to urban development in their neighbourhood. See exclusionary zoning, externality, 'turf' politics.
The destabilization of identities. This may result from geographical movement between cultures but the term is often used metaphorically. See authenticity.
The idea that some goods and services have characteristics such that it is impossible to withhold them from those who do not wish to pay for them. See theory of public goods, non-rejectability.
The idea that some goods and services have characteristics such that once they are supplied to one person, they must be consumed by all, even those who do not wish to do so. See theory of public goods, non-excludability.
normative theory
A theory that deals with what ought to be. Contrast with positive theory.
not-for-profit sector
A term often used in the United States to denote the charitable or voluntary sector.
nuclear family
A family consisting of a married couple and dependent children. Often celebrated as an ideal family form. Characteristic of many suburban areas but diminishing in importance in Western societies. See family status.
numerical flexibility
The ability of firms (and public-sector organizations) to adjust their labour inputs over time to meet variations in output. May be in the form of temporary, part-time or casualized forms of working.

A form of scientific analysis inherent in modernism which purports to subject people to objective scrutiny but typically leads them to being regarded as different and inferior. Often associated with the use of binary categories and exclusion. See binaries, gaze, othering.
A term coined by Edward Said to describe the ways in which European thought constructed a view of the Orient. See discourse, othering.
A term used in postcolonial studies to indicate the discourses that surround colonized people. Also a mode of thinking that leads to people being regarded as different and inferior. A key element in the work of Foucault on those excluded from power, including prisoners, gay and the mentally ill. See objectification, postcolonial theory.
outreach services
Services that travel to the consumer (such as fire or ambulance services). Contrast with point-specific services.
A term used in Marxian theory which denotes that social structures and behaviour have more than one determining factor and cannot therefore be reduced to economic factors alone. Contrast with economic determinism. See also relative autonomy.

A metaphor derived from Jeremy Bentham's nineteenth-century plan for a model prison in which a central tower would enable all inmates to be kept under continual surveillance. Used to describe the processes whereby people are scrutinized and controlled in contemporary society. See disciplinary society, gaze.
paradoxical space
Another term for third space.
parapolitical structure
Informal groups that mediate between individuals and the state in the operation of politics (e.g. business organizations, trade unions, community action groups, voluntary organizations). See coalition building, governance.
pariah city
A city that is stigmatized in the wake of extreme social problems and financial difficulties. See fiscal imbalance.
Social arrangements such as in the form of institutional practices and prevailing social attitudes that enable men to dominate women.
The ways in which identities are socially constructed through particular ways of acting and not the result of some biological essence. See subjectivity, subjectivities, subject positions.
The process through which identities are constructed. See performance. Also the practice of monitoring the performance of workers. Can involve worker productivity and efficiency in terms of output but also the extent to which workers perform certain roles as in services jobs. Used as a defining element of postmodernism through new forms of governance. Also a key element of 'new wave' management theory.
A set of perspectives that focus upon people's subjective interpretations of the world, rather than some external objective reality. Contrast with mimetic approach. See life-world.
A term used by geographers to indicate that the characteristics of territories or spaces are socially constructed (but also have a material base). See social constructionism.
place marketing
See place promotion.
place promotion
Policies to encourage economic development through advertising, lobbying and other incentives such as tax exemptions. Also used to encourage tourism. See civic boosterism.
The tendency for spaces in contemporary cities to be modelled on other places but in ways that produce a uniform, anonymous, pastiche. See elsewhereness, simulacra.
A theory that argues that the diverse interest groups in U.S. cities have equal access to the democratic system and there is no systematic bias in favour of one particular group (e.g. business or labour interests). Contrast with instrumentalism.
point- (or place-) specific services
Services (either public or private sector) that have to be located at a particular point, such as a school or libraries. Contrast with outreach services.
See social polarization.
A type of government (democratic, fascist, etc.). See civil society.
The capacity of workers to undertake multiple tasks. Another name for functional flexibility.
positional good
A good that displays the status of the consumer. See cultural capital.
The values adopted by an individual. Linked to the argument that writings are not an objective mirror of reality but reflect the cultural context in which they are produced. Contrast with mimetic approach. See contextual theory, situatedness.
positive theory
A theory that is concerned with what actually exists (rather than what ought be). Contrast with normative theory.
postcolonial society/state
A nation that has gained independence following a period of colonialism. May be associated with appropriation, ambivalence and hybridity.
postcolonial theory
An approach that examines the discourses running through Western representations of non-Western societies, both in the colonial period and in contemporary texts. A perspective that attempts to subvert the notion, embedded in these writings, that Western thought is superior. Attempts to expose ethnocentrism. See also colonialism, imperialism, othering.
A new regime of accumulation based around flexibility which it is assumed has, or is about to, replace the Fordist regime of accumulation based on mass production. Similar to flexible accumulation. Contrast with Fordism and neo-Fordism. Also used more generally to refer to lower-order concepts such as labour practices and forms of industrial organization.
post-industrial cities
Cities dominated by service activity. Often the outcome of deindustrialization. May exhibit postmodern forms of consumption and culture, and the post-welfare society.
Another name for neo-Marxist theory. Places greater emphasis upon cultural issues than classical Marxism. Attempts to avoid economic determinism. May also be used as a catch-all phrase for various postmodern and poststructuralist perspectives that attempt to avoid being metanarratives.
Another term for postmodern global metropolis. See galactic metropolis.
postmodern global metropolis
Ed Soja's term to describe the structure of Los Angeles which is seen as an archetype of new urban forms. See galactic metropolis, California School.
A term with many meanings: rejection of the idea that there is one superior way of understanding the world (see metanarrative and totalizing narrative); a type of analysis known as deconstruction; a style characterized by eclecticism, irony and pastiche (as in architecture but also in writing and advertising); a period of history and a cultural trend which is the logical accompaniment to the era of post-Fordism or flexible accumulation.
poststructuralism (poststructuralist approach)
A type of analysis. Unlike structuralism which assumes a close relationship between the signifier and the signified, poststructuralism assumes that these are disconnected and in a continual state of flux. See deconstruction, text, intertextuality.
post-welfare state/society
A term to indicate the broad range of changes to the welfare state in contemporary societies including residualization and privatization. Also use to indicate broader cultural shifts such as the move towards greater privatism and an ethic of self-sufficiency. May be linked to notions of post-Fordism. See also Schumpeterian workfare state.
pre-industrial city
A city without an industrial base, usually in earlier historical periods before the Industrial Revolution.
primary relationships
Social ties between family members and friends. Contrast with secondary relationships.
principal components analysis
A quantitative technique used by geographers for summarizing large data sets that is technically very similar to factor analysis and used within factorial ecology.
An ideology underpinning most Western capitalist societies based around a belief in the superiority of private ownership of wealth and the allocation of goods and services by market mechanisms. See liberalism.
A diverse set of policies designed to introduce private ownership and/or private market allocation mechanisms to goods and services previously allocated and owned by the public sector. See asset sales, commercialization, commodification and marketization.
pro-growth coalitions
Another name for growth coalitions. See also civic entrepreneurialism.
projective identification
A tendency to define one's own culture in terms of the imagined failings of other cultures. See binaries, othering.
property-led development
The regeneration of urban areas by private speculators investing in office properties. See urban development corporations.
The tendency for voluntary or non-profit agencies to adopt the strategies of private sector organizations. See commercialization.
'psychic overload'
The proposition that the diversity, density and anonymity of social relationships in cities lead to anxiety and nervous disorders. Similar to 'psychological overload'.
'psychological overload'
The notion that in urban environments people are bombarded with stimuli which may lead to aloofness, impersonality and deviant behaviour. See behaviourism, Gesellschaft.
public goods
Goods and services with characteristics that make it impossible for them to be allocated by private markets. May also be used in a general sense to indicate goods and services provided by the public sector. See theory of public goods.
public space
A space that is owned by the state or local government and in theory is accessible to all citizens but which in reality may be policed to exclude some sections of society.
public sphere
Fora in which people can discuss issues on the basis of equality (at least in theory if not in practice). See civil society. May literally be a space in the city (such as Speakers' Corner in London).
purified communities
A term coined by Richard Sennett to indicate the ways in which some groups attempt to segregate themselves from other groups whom they consider to be different and inferior. See authenticity.
purified spaces
Another term for purified communities.

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quality-of-life indices
Social measures of peoples' lives (as a supplement to or in place of economic indices). May also be termed social indicators, and measures of social well-being.
An acronym for Quasi-Autonomous, Non-Governmental Organization. See governance, hollowing out.
quantitative geography
Studies that attempted to analyze the world in a scientific, value-free manner developing universal laws of human behavior based on mathematical models and statistics. Contrast with situatedness. See also 'god trick'.
A market in which goods and services are purchased for consumers by intermediaries (as when healthcare is purchased by hospital administrators or physicians). See internal markets.
New institutions that undertake roles previously performed by central and local government but which are now outside traditional channels of democratic control. See governance, quango, shadow state.
An abusive term for homosexuals that has been adopted by advocates of queer theory. See also queer politics.
queer politics
Political practices such as that advocated by the gay activist group Queer Nation including 'kiss ins' and 'mock weddings' that attempt to subvert dominant naturalized notions of sexuality.
queer theory
A theory, much inspired by the work of Michel Foucault, that attempts to expose the fluid and socially constructed character of sexual identities. The appropriation of the abusive word queer is meant to draw attention, in an ironic way, to the repressive character of social discourses surrounding sexuality.

race preference hypothesis
The argument that some ethnic groups (typically African-Americans or Latinos) receive the worst levels of both public- and private-sector service provision. See underclass hypothesis.
racial group
A group of people who are assumed to be biologically distinct because of some characteristic of physical appearance, usually skin colour or facial appearance. Since these differences are of no greater significance than other physical attributes such as hair colour, a racial group is one in which certain physical attributes are selected as being ethnically significant. See racism, ethnicity, ethnic group.
A set of ideas and social practices that ascribe negative characteristics to a particular racial group who are mistakenly assumed to be biologically distinct. See ethnic group.
The closure of industrial capacity typically leading to employment loss. May also refer to the closure of facilities within the welfare state. See deindustrialization.
A broad term for the various New Right policies designed to put the interests of business at the top of the political agenda. See Schumpeterian workfare state.
A trend for the reconcentration of facilities in urban centres following a period of decentralization.
The reallocation of goods and services from non-market to market mechanisms. Similar to marketization, commodification.
A key element of structuration theory which recognizes that social systems are made up of the numerous everyday interactions of people. Also termed recurrent social practices.
The practice by building societies and mortgage companies of withholding loans for properties in areas of cities which are perceived to be bad risks.
The capacity of people to have knowledge of the situations that face them and to make choices based on this knowledge. See human agency.
regime of accumulation
An abstract concept central to regulation theory which claims that from time to time within capitalist societies there emerge stable sets of social, economic and institutional arrangements that serve to link production and consumption. See also mode of regulation, Fordism, neo-Fordism and post-Fordism.
regime theory
An approach that examines how various coalitions of interests come together to achieve outcomes in cities (often the promotion of local economic development by pro-growth coalitions of business interests). Argues that power does not flow automatically but has to be acquired.
regulation theory
A set of Marxist-inspired ideas that attempt to relate changes in labour practices and forms of industrial and social organization to wider economic developments and the changing relations between nation states. See regime of accumulation, mode of regulation, Fordism, post-Fordism.
Treating people as objects (but may also involve regarding objects as having agency).
The process whereby ex-patients of welfare institutions that have been closed, such as psychiatric hospitals, end up in other types of institution, especially prisons. See deinstitutionalization.
relative autonomy
The idea embodied in certain structuralist approaches that the ideological superstructure is not rigidly determined by the economic base of society. See also economic determinism, functionalism, superstructure, overdetermination, state apparatuses.
The notion that truth and knowledge are relative to particular times and places. See embodied knowledge, situatedness.
rent gap
The disparity between the rents currently charged for run-down inner-city areas and their potential market rents following renovation. If large can lead to urban development and gentrification. See also revanchist city.
All the ways in which societies portray themselves and the world around them.
representations of space
Lefebvre's term for the discourses used to represent areas. See material practices and spaces of representation Also termed representational space.
A metaphor derived from biology used within Marxian theory to refer to all the elements needed to ensure maintenance of the capitalist system. Also termed social reproduction. See accumulation.
reserve army of labour
The idea derived from classical Marxism that within capitalist economies there are groups of marginalized low-income workers who are given employment in times of high demand and laid off in times of recession.
residential differentiation
The tendency for people with distinctive characteristics and cultures to reside close to each other in cities, thereby forming distinctive neighbourhoods. Also termed sociospatial differentiation. See clustering, community, neighbourhood, segregation, ghetto.
Reductions in welfare spending so that services are limited to deprived minorities. See ghettoization.
residual welfare state
A welfare system that only comes into operation as a last resort when other means of meeting welfare needs, through families, voluntary bodies and private sector agencies, fail. See post-welfare society.
Revanchist city
Neil Smith's term for a city in which the powerful take their 'revenge' (from the French word revanche) by reasserting their authority through processes such as gentrification, privatization and deregulation.
'risk society'
Ulrich Beck's notion that the risks in contemporary society are much greater than in previous societies.
A technical procedure used within factor analysis to obtain the clearest patterns within data. Also used within principal components analysis. See factorial ecology.

A term coined by Mike Davis to describe the electronic surveillance strategies in Los Angeles used to exclude groups regarded as undesirable from certain parts of the city. See panopticon.
Schumpeterian workfare state (SWS)
An emerging form of welfare state in which the needs of individuals are subordinated to enhancing the international competitiveness of the economy. Unlike the Keynesian welfare state (KWS), the SWS tends to be based on discretion, minimalism and means testing.
The process whereby spaces (and social groups) are produced or constructed through various forms of discourse or representation. See text.
search space
The region within which a potential migrant searches for a new location. See aspiration region, awareness space, activity space.
secondary relationships
Relationships with people other than family and friends designed to achieve a particular purpose. See expressive interaction, instrumental interaction.
sectoral model
The model of urban residential structure advocated by Homer Hoyt which suggests that class differences in residential areas are arranged in sectors. Contrast with concentric zone model. See filtering.
The tendency for minority groups to be unevenly distributed in cities (i.e. to display residential differentiation). Very rarely are groups completely separate in residential terms – hence studies measure the degree of separation. (See ghetto, index of dissimilarity, assimilation.)
A situation where individuals make their own arrangement to meet their welfare needs, rather than relying upon the state. The alternatives could be self-help, the voluntary sector or private sector agencies. See also domestication.
The study of signs and their meanings. Also termed semiotics. See signifiers, the signified, text.
semiotic redundancy
The tendency for changes in style and fashion to make existing products undesirable even though they may currently function adequately. See aestheticization, semiology.
service-dependent ghetto
Concentrations of ex-psychiatric patients and other dependent groups in inner-city areas close to community-based services. Also known as the 'asylum-without-walls'. See community care.
Sets of ideas, attitudes and behaviour that ascribe one of the sexes with inferior characteristics. See gender, feminism.
Ideas and concepts about sex. Implicit in the term is recognition that human sexual activity is primarily a learned form of behaviour shaped by cultural values.
shadow state
The tendency for the voluntary sector to take over services that were previously allocated by the state. The shadow state is diverse and outside traditional channels of democratic control.
The process whereby places, peoples and things are given meaning in writing and other forms of representation. See spaces of representation.
The cultural meaning that is indicated by the signifier. See also text.
That which points to some wider cultural meaning. This may be a word, sign or material object. See signified.
Images or copies of the 'real' world that are difficult to distinguish from the original reality they purport to represent. May be thought of as copies without originals that take on a 'life of their own'. A key element in postmodern culture. See postmodernism, hyperreality.
An approach that recognizes that all writings and other forms of representation emerge from people with particular values and in cultures that are distinct in time and space. An approach that denies that there are invariant patterns of human behaviour across time and space, as assumed in neo-classical economics. Also referred to as situated knowledge.
'smokestack' cities
The cities created by the Industrial Revolution and characterized by heavy manufacturing industry.
Social Area Analysis
The work undertaken in the 1950s primarily by Shevky and Bell that attempted to relate measures of social change to the geographical structure of cities. Influenced by the Chicago School of human ecology and in turn influenced factorial ecology. May also be used as a general sense to indicate geographical analysis of city structure.
social closure
Another name for processes whereby powerful groups exclude other groups from wealth, status and power. May be called exclusionary closure. See purified communities.
social constructionism
An approach that asserts that most of the differences between people are not the result of their inherent characteristics but the way in which they are treated by others in society. Can be applied to differences related to ethnicity and gender together with the characteristics of places and technologies. See place, racism, sexism. Contrast with essentialism.
social Darwinism
The application of ideas about natural competition in the plant and the animal world to the study of urban social geography. See Chicago School, human ecology.
social distance
Differences between people based on factors such as class, status and power leading to separation in social life. May be the result of mutual desire or predominantly the wishes of the powerful. Often expressed in terms of physical distance and residential differentiation.
social division of labour
The social characteristics of the people who undertake different types of work (e.g. age, ethnicity, gender). See also technical division of labour.
social engineering
The belief that society can be improved by rational comprehensive planning based on scientific principles (as in comprehensive slum clearance and urban redevelopment schemes).
social gatekeepers
Professionals, managers and bureaucrats (in both the private and public sectors) who determine access to scarce resources and facilities (e.g. housing, mortgage finance, welfare benefits). See decision rules, managerialism, 'street-level' bureaucrats.
social indicators
See territorial social indicators.
social movements
Pressure groups and organizations with varying degrees of public support petitioning for change, often outside conventional political channels. Sometimes termed new social movements and urban social movements. These formed an important part of the theory of collective consumption.
social polarization
Growing inequalities between groups in society. May refer to increases in the poorest, the most wealthy, or both (i.e. a disappearing middle class in the 'hour-glass' society).
social rank
The name frequently given to one of the main dimensions of urban residential structure revealed by factorial ecology studies, class-based variations in the material wealth of inhabitants. See family status and ethnic status, multiple deprivation. May produce results similar to territorial social indicators.
social relations of production
The various legal, institutional and social arrangements in society that permit the capitalist mode of production to function. See also forces of production.
social reproduction
All the various elements that are necessary to reproduce the workforce and the consumers needed to keep a capitalist society functioning (e.g. the family, schools, health services, welfare state). A key part of Marxian theories which stress the role of the welfare state in overcoming the problems of capitalism. Much criticized in the past for functionalism.
social wage
The public services and activities undertaken by the state (such as the regulation of labour markets) to maintain the welfare of citizens. See welfare statism.
social well-being
See quality-of-life indices.
Explanations of human behaviour based on genetic factors relating to biology. Disputed by those who adopt social constructionism.
socioeconomic status
The name frequently given to one of the main dimensions of urban residential structure as shown by factorial ecology – the most dominant dimension according to page 108 of the text. See ethnic status, family status, social rank.
sociospatial dialectic
Ed Soja's term for the mutually interacting process whereby people shape the structure of cities and at the same time are affected by the structure of those cities.
sociospatial differentiation
Another term for residential differentiation.
A term often used in a general sense to indicate geography, location or distance, but also used specifically by human geographers to acknowledge the socially constructed nature of environments. Also termed place. See betweenness of place, purified spaces, social constructionism, spatiality.
space of flows
Manuel Castells' term to describe the spatial structures associated with the information economy. See cyberspace, distanciation, time-space compression.
spaces of exclusion
Areas in which certain groups of people are excluded by other, more powerful groups. Often based on stereotyped notions of other groups. See gated communities, othering, purified communities.
spaces of representation
A term used by Lefebvre to indicate the various ways in which new spatial practices can be planned or imagined in cities. See material practices and representations of space.
spaces of resistance
Areas of cities that challenge dominant, majority, ways of life through fostering 'alternative' lifestyles. See counter-site, heterotopia, liminal space, paradoxical space, third space.
spatial autocorrelation
Interdependence, resulting from spatial contiguity, amongst so-called 'independent' variables used in multivariate techniques such as factor analysis and multiple regression leading to unstable and unreliable results.
spatial science
Another name for quantitative geography.
Also known as sociospatiality, a term used by geographers to acknowledge the socially constructed and material nature of space (as with the term place). See space, social constructionism.
spatialized subjectivities
A term which recognizes the explicit role of space in the formation of subjectivities and identities.
The idea that social life is increasingly dominated by images. See commodity fetishism. Also may refer to tendency to promote cities through grand events and spectacular landscapes. See Disneyfication, festival retailing.
Another name for an externality.
standpoint theory
The controversial argument that women can provide a deeper understanding of the world through their involvement in childrearing and social reproduction. Also used in a general sense to indicate theories that recognize the situatedness of theory and the need to champion the oppressed.
state apparatuses
A term used within structuralist theories to refer to key elements of the ideological superstructure such as the church, family and education system. See ideological superstructure, micropowers, structuralism.
strategic essentialism
The temporary adoption of essentialist attitudes by deconstructionists to achieve political objectives. See essentialism, deconstruction, discourses, social constructionism.
'street-level' bureaucrats
Managers who have direct contact with the public such as housing inspectors and police officers. See decision rules, managerialism.
structural assimilation
The process whereby a minority group is incorporated into class and occupational structure of the wider society (or charter group). Contrast with behavioural assimilation.
structuralism (structuralist approach)
A theoretical approach derived originally from the study of languages which involves delving below the surface appearance of human activity to examine the underlying structures that affect human behavior. See poststructuralism.
structuration theory
A theory expounded by Anthony Giddens that attempts to bridge the divide between voluntarist and determinist theories. See voluntarism, economic determinism.
Used in a general sense to indicate a broad over-arching framework. Also a key part of structuration theory which refers to the rules, norms and resources that individuals draw upon to carry out their lives. See system, recursiveness.
structured coherence
A term coined by David Harvey to indicate the ways in which urban regions assume distinctive characteristics which are the products of local systems of production, local labour markets and the associated modes of consumption and lifestyle. A Marxian explanation which argues struggles over the labour process are the key (but not the only) process at work in cities.
subaltern classes
Subordinate groups in society who are subject to the hegemony of ruling classes. Used in postcolonial theory to highlight people subject to colonialism.
A situation in which one organization contracts with another for the provision of a good or service. Also termed contracting-out.
subcultural theory
An approach that examines the influence of factors such as class, ethnicity and family status upon behaviour in cities, arguing that new subcultures are spawned by urban living.
A group with values and norms different from the majority culture in society. Often expressed in residential differentiation in cities. May be termed a deviant subgroup.
A term similar to subjectivity but which explicitly recognizes the context-dependent, and therefore continually changing, nature of the concept. See spatialized subjectivities.
The continually changing views that people take of themselves and the world around them. In cultural studies these views are seen as the product of ideology and discourse and not some stable factor resulting from innate characteristics (as argued in essentialism). Similar to identities but is a more dynamic concept resulting from the interactions of the self, experience and discourses in different contexts. See subjectivities, spatialized subjectivities.
subject positions
Ways of acting and thinking that are implicit with various discourses about people classified in some way (e.g. on the basis of class, age or gender). These interact with subjectivities to form identity.
The idea that national-level decision-making should be devolved to the most appropriate level (usually downwards to local communities). See devolution and decentralization.
suburban exploitation thesis
The argument, mainly applied to the United States, that residents in relatively wealthy suburban local governments are consuming services in poorer inner cities which they are not fully paying for (such as roads and policing). Related to fiscal imbalance, free-riders and metropolitan fragmentation.
A term derived from the study of plants and animals used by the Chicago School of human ecology to refer to the process whereby a new social group begins to dominate a residential district after initial invasion. See also dominance, natural areas, social Darwinism.
superorganic (culture)
The controversial view of Carl Sauer and the Berkeley School of Cultural Geography, derived in part from evolutionary theory, that the culture of a region should be regarded as a single over-arching entity struggling with other cultures.
A term derived from classical Marxism to indicate all the elements of society outside of the system of production including the state and legal system. Similar to the notion of civil society. See state apparatuses.
surplus value
A key element of Karl Marx's labour theory of value – the difference between the wages paid to workers and the prices the goods they produce can command through market exchange. See exchange value and use value.
The scrutiny and control of subordinate peoples. See gaze, interpellation, panopticon, 'scanscape'.
A much contested idea with many different interpretations but generally alludes to economic development in a manner which can be sustained in the long-run for future generations. See ecocentric approach, technocentric approach, urban social sustainability.
symbolic capital
Goods and services that reflect the social position, taste and distinction of the owner. May also be reflected in imposing buildings also known as monumental architecture. See aestheticization, cultural capital, positional goods, symbolic distancing.
symbolic distancing
The tendency for people to display their social position through various forms of ostentatious consumption (including residential location and housing type). See symbolic capital.
Another name for hybridity.
A term used in many different ways according to the approach in question but generally used to refer to the interdependent parts of a larger entity. In structuration theory the system is the outcome of all the actions undertaken by people. See also structure, recursiveness, reflexivity.

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Another name for distance-decay effect.
A set of ideas developed by U.S. engineer Frederick Taylor to manage the labour process that was adopted by Henry Ford in the early twentieth century to mass produce automobiles in Detroit. Also termed the 'principles of scientific management'. These involved simplification of tasks, managerial control of workers and the utilization of 'time and motion' studies to determine the most efficient ways of working. See Fordism.
technical division of labour
The types of work that need to be undertaken within an industrial system. Contrast with social division of labour.
technocentric approach
An approach to sustainability which argues that environmental problems can be met without fundamentally disturbing the capitalist system. Also called ecological modernization. Stresses the capacity of existing institutions to adapt and meet environmental problems and the ability of science and technology to meet these challenges. Contrast with ecocentric approach.
technological determinism
The notion that technology exists as some independent external force that impinges 'upon' society. Disputed by social constructionists who argue that technologies are an integral part of society (i.e. the product of economic, political and cultural processes).
Services that link computer and digital media equipment to new forms of satellite and fibre-optic telecommunications channels. See cyberspace.
territorial justice
The allocation of resources across a set of areas in direct proportion to the needs of the areas. See territorial social indicators.
territorial social indicators
Measures of social disadvantage (or need) that relate to particular types of geographical region such as residential areas within cities or local government areas. May be used to evaluate degrees of territorial justice.
A term with various interpretations, including the idea that humans have an innate desire to occupy a specific territory to satisfy needs of safety, security and privacy and to enable the expression of personal identity. Sometimes called the 'territorial imperative'. A form of explanation based on sociobiology that is disputed by those who take a social constructionist approach. Also a concept in postmodern thought that involves any institution that represses people's desires (such as the family). May also be a strategy to achieve political power by mobilizing the support and resources in geographical areas such as urban neighbourhoods, cities, or regions.
A key concept in cultural studies which refers to any form that represents social meanings – not just the written word – but also paintings, landscapes and buildings. See discourses, deconstruction.
theory of public goods
A theory that states that some goods and services have characteristics that make it impossible for them to be allocated by private markets. See joint supply, non-rejectability, non-excludability.
third-party effect
Another name for an externality.
third space
The mixture of meanings that emerges when two cultures interact, as under colonialism. See ambivalence, hybridity, liminal space, paradoxical space.
The work originated by Torsten Hagerstrand which examines the joint influences of time and space upon people's daily lives. See authority constraint, coupling constraint, capability constraint, recursiveness.
time-space compression
David Harvey's term to indicate the ways in which various processes including technological change have speeded up processes of capital accumulation.
time-space convergence
The idea that new transport systems are leading to much greater mobility and a 'shrinking world'. Contrast with distanciation.
'tipping point'
A situation when a new minority group migrating into a residential area becomes such a significant presence that they provoke a sudden and rapid exit of the remainder of the original population. See 'blockbusting', invasion.
totalizing narrative
A theory that purports to be a privileged way of interpreting the world providing superior insights. May also be termed a metanarrative.
transaction costs
The costs of exchanging information and material objects. May be reduced by the agglomeration of firms in new industrial spaces.
Another term for the reciprocal interaction of dominant and subordinate cultures as depicted by hybridity.
transmitted deprivation
The idea that poverty results from poor skills and low aspiration levels that result from poor parenting.
Companies whose production, distribution and marketing operate in more than one country. May also refer to companies whose operations are integrated at a global level. See globalization, global-local nexus.
A regular pattern or convention in story-telling (such as the victory of the individual over 'the system' in Hollywood movies).
'turf' politics
Another name for community action.

The poorest and most disadvantaged in society. Often linked with the culture of poverty explanation. Also used to denote the growing numbers of the poor and the changing character of poverty. See social polarization.
underclass hypothesis
The argument that the poorest groups in society receive the worst levels of both public and private sector service provision. See race preference hypothesis.
urban development corporations (UDCs)
Quasi-public-sector bodies in the United Kingdom that encourage private-sector investment in run-down urban areas through the provision of infrastructure such as reclaimed land and transport networks. See property-led development.
urban entrepreneurialism
A new period of governance in cities characterized by competition between cities to encourage economic development. May be linked with the 'hollowing out' of the central state. See civic boosterism, growth coalitions, regime theory.
urban governance
All the methods and institutions by which cities are governed. The term is commonly used to indicate the shift away from direct government control of cities via hierarchical bureaucracies towards indirect control via diverse non-governmental organizations. Associated with the demise of local forms of government. May also be termed governance. See quango, quasi-state.
urban growth coalitions
See growth coalitions.
urban managerialism
Urban-based versions of the managerialist thesis. See managerialism.
urban morphology
The physical structure of the urban environment. See morphogenesis.
urban social areas
Residential districts within cities in which people with similar characteristics tend to live near one another.
urban social movements
See social movements.
urban social sustainability
Social life within cities that is relatively free of inequality and conflict and that can be sustained in the long run. A component of sustainability.
use value
The utility of a commodity (such as housing) to the consumer. Related to but distinct from exchange value.

vacancy chains
The chains of movement resulting from properties becoming available through factors such as new building, the subdivision of properties, and the death or out-migration of existing occupants. See filtering.
vertical disintegration
A situation in which companies and organizations subcontract work out to other (usually small) organizations. Contrast with vertical integration. See also contracting-out.
vertical integration
A structure in which functions are integrated into a large organization in a complex interdependent hierarchy. Contrast with vertical disintegration.
'voice' option
A strategy of overt campaigning by a community action group. Contrast with 'exit' and 'loyalty' options. See community action, 'turf' politics.
The use of the voluntary sector to meet welfare needs. See also shadow state. This term may also refer to a type of social analysis which envisages people as capable of making decisions to evolve in an almost infinite range of possible directions. This approach therefore plays down the constraints upon people. See also human agency. Contrast with economic determinism.
voluntary organizations
Interest groups and pressure groups in cities (e.g. work-based clubs, religious organizations, community groups, welfare organizations). Only a small proportion is likely to be overtly politically active at any given time.
voluntary sector
May refer to voluntary organizations in general but more usually to the diverse set of non-profit making agencies attempting to meet welfare needs such as charities, charitable trusts and pressure groups.

welfare corporatism
A society characterized by corporatist forms of collaboration in which certain groups can gain privileged access to government to derive benefits of various types (e.g. contracts, tax concessions). Usually applies to big business or organized labour rather than the most deprived. See corporatism.
welfare pluralism
A system in which welfare needs are met by a diverse set of agencies including those from the voluntary and private sectors rather than relying upon universal provision by state agencies. Also known as the mixed economy of welfare. See contracting-out, privatization.
welfare state
A set of institutions and social arrangements designed to assist people when they are in need through factors such as illness, unemployment and dependency through youth or old age.
welfare statism
The notion that the state should have responsibility to ensure an adequate standard of living for its citizens through policies designed to achieve full employment, relatively high minimum wages, safe working conditions and income transfers from relatively affluent majorities to deprived minorities.
Wirthian theory
The highly influential ideas of Louis Wirth which suggest that social life in cities (i.e. 'urbanism') is characterized by increased rates of crime, illness and social disorganization which are largely a product of the increasing size and heterogeneity of urban life. See psychic overload.
A system in which those who are unemployed have to undertake work in order to receive benefits. Also associated with a number of other policies designed to regulate the behaviour of welfare recipients.
world cities
See global cities.
The discourse used to represent colonized territories (see colonial discourse). May be used to describe the ways in which any place is represented.

The spirit of the age (i.e. the prevailing ideology, or hegemonic discourse).
zone of transition
The name given by the Chicago School of human ecology for the concentric ring between the city centre and working class residential areas. Characterized by a mixture of industry and poor-quality rented accommodation, often inhabited by immigrants and various forms of 'social deviant'. Also termed transition zone.
See exclusionary zoning.

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Chris Watson (The Bicycling Guitarist) says:
I added HTML code to link related words together with hyperlinks. I added a few extra hyperlinks to outside sources where certain persons or concepts are mentioned but not defined in the glossary. I changed the order of some alphabetical listings to be word-by-word instead of letter-by-letter. For example, I list “information economy” before “informational city” whereas the textbook lists these in the opposite order. I also changed the listing of “Shumpeterian workfare state” to “Schumpeterian workfare state” after finding only four entries on a Google search for the former and more than four hundred entries for the latter spelling on December 8, 2002. Other than that this work is not mine but the authors' and publisher's. As much as my spell checker protested, I did not change the British spellings such as “neighbourhood,” “labour” and “artefact.”