Sociology 10 C. Chase-Dunn Tuesday-Thursday 9:40 a.m. - 11:00 a.m Olmsted 1208
W. O. J. Niewencamp, “The
This is a
course on the emergence and transformation of human settlement systems in
comparative and evolutionary perspective since the Paleolithic. We will
consider the annual circular treks of nomads from camp to camp, the emergence
of winter hamlets and the transition to permanent villages and towns, the
emergence and growth of cities, and the co-evolution of sedentary and nomadic
peoples, the emergence of the car-based multicentric
cities and the development of the contemporary global city system. We will
study the forces that have led humans to live in larger and larger urban
agglomerations and the problems of sustainability that urban growth processes have
created. Topics that will be covered are: problems associated with the estimation
of the population sizes of modern and premodern
settlements; settlement size distributions; high density and low density
settlements; the relationships between empires and cities; the processes of
urbanization; world cities and global cities; megacities and slums in the
Global South; the whole global system of settlements, the Southern California
urban agglomeration; and the problems that are associated with the pattern of
low-density urban growth (urban sprawl).
We will also study industrial urbanization, megacities and the urbanization of
the global system with its world cities tightly linked
to one another by communications, transportation, trade and organizational
networks. Contemporary urban issues in
Grading is based on the midterm exam (30%) [May 3], the final exam (30%), [June 14] attendance (15%), and a short (less than 10 pp. typed, double-spaced) research paper that comparatively analyses the settlement system of a premodern world-system (25%) [due date June 7]. The midterm and the final will be in-class essay exams.
The following books are available at the Campus Store and are on reserve:
The Cities Reader is available on the course iLearn web site.
April 3 no lecture
April 5 Overview of the course
April 10 The comparative world-systems perspective
Hall and C. Chase-Dunn, “Global social
change in the long run”
Chapter 3. in C. Chase-Dunn and
April 12 Settlement Systems
* C. Chase-Dunn, “The role of ecosettlement systems in social evolution”
in Cities Reader.
Settlement systems: hamlets, villages and towns; Settlement size distributions
* C. Chase-Dunn “The changing role of cities in world-systems” in Cities Reader.
E. Neitzel (ed.)
* Christopher Chase-Dunn, Daniel Pasciuti, Alexis Alvarez and Thomas D. Hall “ The ancient Mesopotamian and Egyptian world-systems” in Cities Reader.
Van De Mieroop, The
East Asia, South Asia, Mesoamerica, the
*Christopher Chase-Dunn and Alice Willard, Systems of Cities and World-Systems in the City Reader.
Justin Jennings, The First Globalizations
* Christopher Chase-Dunn, Alexis Alvarez and Daniel Pasciuti, “Power and size: urbanization and empire formation in world-systems” in Cities Reader.
May 1 (study questions for the Midterm handed out) (Topic for research paper is due) Cities, Empires and Hegemony2
* Christopher Chase-Dunn and Alice Willard, “Cities in the Central Political/Military Network Since CE 1200:Size Hierarchy and Domination in Cities Reader.
Charles Tilly, Coercion, Capital, and European states, AD 990-1990
From capitalist city-state in the semiperiphery to capitalist nation-state in the core: The rise of the Dutch republic
May 3 Midterm Exam
* Christopher Chase-Dunn and E. Susan Manning, “City systems and world-systems: Four millennia of city growth and decline’ in Cities Reader.
Abu-Lughod, Before European Hegemony (
The urbanization of societies and world urbanization
Industrial cities: From demographic sink to demographic fountain.
Saskia Sassen, The Global City:
May 10 Urbanization in the United States
* William Cronon, Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West Preface, Chapters 1-3
May 15 Urbanization in the United States
* William Cronon, Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West Chapters 4-6
May 17 Urbanization in the United States
* William Cronon, Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West Chapter 7-Epilogue
Robert J. Sampson, Great American City: Chicago and the Enduring Neighborhood Effect.
* Christopher Chase-Dunn, “The coming of urban primacy in Latin America”in Cities Reader.
Mike Davis, Planet of Slums
Mike Davis and Daniel B. Monk, Evil Paradises: Dreamworlds of Neoliberalism
May 22 The Southern California Urban Agglomeration: The premodern world-system in
Southern California; Los Angeles in global culture; Who Rules Socal?l Suburban
power and the “globalization project”
Allen J. Scott and Edward Soja, The City:
Edna Bonacich and Richard Appelbaum, Behind the Label
Low density and multicentric cities; Mixed Use Developments
June 7 Next 3 futures and Lyrical Upsurge [Research paper is Due](Final Study Questions Handed Out) *Mike Davis, “Who Will Build the Ark?” Available on the Course Web Site under Course Materials
June 14 8:10 am to 10 am final exam
The task is to study a premodern settlement system of a whole political-military network  composed of interacting polities. On April 26 please turn in a single sheet of paper with your name, email address and the main premodern settlement that will be the focus of your study of a settlement system and the time period you will study. Also include the citations for three specific library (non-Internet) sources of information about the focal settlement and the other settlements with which it is interacting.
political/military network is a network of polities that are allying and making
war on one another, like the modern international system or earlier regional
PMNs composed of chiefdoms, states or empires. PMNs have settlement systems
composed of cities, towns, villages and hamlets and may be in interaction with
nomadic peoples who live in temporary camps. Pick a single focal settlement
(for example a specific Chumash village before the Europeans arrived in
Southern California, or
Data on the population sizes of cities are available from Tertius Chandler’s Four Thousand Years of Urban Growth.
The population estimates for the cities in
Tell the story of the settlement system of which your focal settlement is a part, and suggest explanations for the patterns that you find. The text of your paper should be no longer than 10 typewritten double-spaced pages. Include a bibliography of your sources and maps if you can find them. The paper is due on June 7.
 Settlement systems are networks of interacting settlements.
 Premodern means before 500 years ago or, if more recent, a settlement that has had no significant interaction with Europeans.
 A political-military network is a regional system of interacting polities (chiefdoms, states or empires) that make alliances or war with one another.