Urbanism Changes Personality Types, or Is Just a Way of Life? —Contrast in Simmel’s and Wirth’s Metropolis

Yanling SHI


One is regarded by sociologists as one of the founders of the discipline of sociology, the other is the representative figure of the Chicago School, Simmel and Wirth’s works both attracted great attention and interpretations. After more than a century of Simmel’s death and half a century of Wirth’s death, their work still remains a source of puzzlement. This article aims to give a fresh look at their two great works, and come up with a contrast in their theme and analysis. Though both are about metropolis, they differentiate from each other profoundly.


Urbanism; Simmel; Wirth; Metropolis

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Fischer, C. S. (1972). Urbanism as a way of life: A review and an agenda. Sociological Methods & Research, 1(1), 187-242.

Gans, H. J. (1962). The urban villagers: Group and class in the life of Italian-Americans (2nd). New York: Free Press.

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Jazbinsek, D. (2003). The metropolis and the mental life of Georg Simmel: On the history of an antipathy. Journal of Urban History, 30(1), 102-125.

Simmel, G. (1950). The metropolis and mental life. In Kurt H. Wolff (Ed.), The sociology of Georg Simmel (pp.409-424). New York: The Free Press.

Wirth, L. (1938). Urbanism as a way of life. American Journal of Sociology, XLIV(1), 1-24.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/j.sss.1923018420140501.3018


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