Urbanism as a Way of Life
Urbanism is the way of life andinteractions of people living in cities and towns as far as urbanlife, the problem and organization are concerned. It is also thestudy of the way of life and needs of urban societies (Wirth1).Urbanism has a tremendous effect on social and economic aspects oflife.
The core advantage of urbanism isthat it has brought about the sense of individualism. This is wherebycity inhabitants concentrate more on their own vested interests(Wirth3). Urbanism helps people realize and follow their purpose andpassions in life. This is because the city life creates a sense ofpersonal interests for the inhabitants. Because of individualism,most city inhabitants have the ability to follow their interests andchase their dreams. As a result, many city residents achieve personalsatisfaction since they have a chance to pursue their differentinterests and personal wants (Buckley1).
Urbanism has improved socialstandards globally since urbanites tend to develop relations with newpeople from different social and cultural practices (Wirth7). Anurbanite is exposed to a different way of life and routine which aidsin establishing a second nature feeling of the city life. Urbanismalso creates a sense of hard work and responsibilities to the cityinhabitants. This helps them become more active in their day to dayactivities. Urbanites develop relations with new people whicheventually results in a change in their way of life and socialcharacters (Fischer187-242).
There exists a common sense ofloneliness to newcomers who are eager to adopt the city way of life(Buckley1). Many newcomers have experienced this feeling because ofthe interpersonal relationships experienced in the urban cities. Thisis because newcomers are forced to step out of their comfort zone andadopt some characters which they are not used to. This creates aself-discovery experience for them, which in turn helps them realizetheir interests (Buckley 1).
Rural to urban migration hasaided in the establishment of modern facilities in every aspect oflife. Some of these improvements include financial andadministrative facilities, transportation, higher educationalinstitutions, communication facilities, hospitals, libraries,research centers and many more social facilities (Wirth5). Theestablishment of such facilities has positively improved urbanites’way of life. Social characteristics have thus improved due to thesefacilities and an improved way of life is acquired.
Rural to urban migration hasdirectly increased since time memorial. Rural people migrate to thecities in search of greener pastures and this has directly affectedthe growth and development of many cities across the globe(Fischer187-242).Statistics show that the city life offers more facilities andopportunities as opposed to the rural areas. This creates a largenumber of people to migrate to urban areas in order to enjoy variousopportunities. Urbanites are able to acquire knowledge of specificaspects of life thus improving their social standards. Consequently,they become more influential in spreading the urban way of life totheir subsequent rural places (Wirth 9).
Critics argue that as a result ofthe migration, rural areas have relatively been slacking behind asfar as development is concerned. This is not true because people whohave moved to the cities have a hand in the city developments and asa result, use the knowledge acquired from the cities to build theirrespective rural areas (Wirth 12). Research proves that, were it notfor rural to urban migration, the difference in modes of life betweenrural and urban areas would be immensely higher.
Urbanismas a way of life enhances equality of the general population.Everyone has an equal platform and opportunities in the urban citiesto pursue their interests. No matter one’s social or culturaldifference, personal growth and accomplishments are determined by theindividual’s hard work and activities. Harmony among city residentsis experienced and this results in a stable social and economicgrowth both personally and communally (Fischer187-242).
Through contact andcommunication, urbanization plays a great role in social growth anddevelopment of rural areas. Research proves that over the years,rural areas and cities have grown at a great rate, which isattributed to the growth of the cities and urban areas. This isbecause people who have migrated to urban areas are still in directcontact and communication with people in remote or rural areas(Fischer187-242).Development and growth of rural areas is thus proportional to thedevelopment of the cities, though not at the high rates experiencedin urban areas. This is a clear indication that urbanism has immenseadvantages both in the city life and in the rural areas.
Urbanism as a way of life hasalso assisted in social growth and maturity through implicating urbanlifestyle on rural area residents. Subsequently, economic developmenthas also increased not only in the cities but also in rural areas(Wirth 8). Because of urban lifestyle experienced in rural areasthrough urbanism, freedom of migration of people from rural areas torural areas has increased. Social benefits of urbanism, which resultin communal living of different communities have spread outside theurban cities. This is the core reason why it is possible for peopleto feel free migrating to other rural cities in search for greenerpastures without fear of social or cultural differences. Because ofurbanism, rarely can you find a rural city inhabited by one communityor people with similar origin alone.
Another advantage of urbanism asa way of life is the social variations observed in different cities.Urbanism not only denotes the essential characteristics shared by allthe cities but also brings about their social variations. Acommercial city will defer from an industrial, mining or capitalcity. Different sets of social settings are observed because ofcertain factors in different cities. For example, social settingsdiffer from a new city to an old city or from a one-industry city toa multi-industrial city (Wirth 11). Most of these social settingvariations have a great impact on improving the urban way of life inthe cities. It in turn influences the surrounding rural areas inadopting urbanism as a way of life.
Urbanites are less dependent oneveryone, but are dependent on specific people depending on theirspecific activities and social responsibilities (Wirth 4). Other thanthat, they meet in highly segmented roles which make them dependenton specific people in order to satisfy their life needs as opposed torural people. Due to this, urbanites are responsible for theformation of strategically organized groups. These organized groupsare made up of urbanites with a specific goal or vision in life. Thisenhances the specialization of activities among city inhabitants. Asa result, many organized groups have sprung up which has resulted ineffective and advantageous results in different aspects of life. Therefore, specialization is a core result of urbanism as a way oflife (Wirth 13).
Urbanization is the main reasonwhy we enjoy diverse and positive facilities and services in our dayto day life. This is because urbanization has brought togetherdifferent people from different social, economic and culturaldifferences to live as one community (Fischer187-242). Asa result, many social misfortunes that our forefathers went throughhave greatly reduced. Some degrading social habits like racism andtribalism have immensely diminished thanks to urbanism. Urbanism as away of life has improved integration of different races and tribeswho currently live together as a single community. Social maturityhas thus increased and people can now associate and live togethercoherently (Wirth 18). This is the core reason why cities havedeveloped and grown economically.
Despite very few demeritsexpressed by critics, urbanism as a way of life presents greateradvantages in the day to day activities of mankind. Each and everyaspect of life that we currently enjoy is as a result of urbanism.This is clearly observed by the influence shared globally byurbanites. Social, technological, structural, economic andenvironmental advancement across the world is a clear indication ofthe benefits of urbanization.
Buckley, Cara. "The New York Times." Newcomers Adjust, Eventually, to New York (2008).
Wirth, Louis. "The American Journal of Socialogy." Urbanism as a Way of Life (1938): 1-24.
Fischer,Claude S. "" " A Review andan Agenda."Sociologicalmethods & research 1.2(1972): 187-242.
The City part 1 and 2 Retrievedfrom: http://www.archive.org/details/CityTheP1939