Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Urbanism as a way of life? Räumliche Variationen der Lebensführung in Deutschland


Otte, G; Baur, N (2008). Urbanism as a way of life? Räumliche Variationen der Lebensführung in Deutschland. Zeitschrift für Soziologie, 37(2):93-116.

Abstract

In his classic article, Wirth (1938) asserted that urban ways of life would eventually spread into rural areas through enhanced mobility and communicative interconnectedness. This view is shared by many contemporary urban sociologists who claim that disparities in prosperity and shrinking regions have replaced the rural-urban continuum as the primary dimension of spatial inequality in Germany. According to Fischer's (1975) subcultural theory of urbanism, however, large cities will continue to produce and attract unconventional, nontraditional lifestyles due to a critical mass of like-minded people. In this paper, we test these hypotheses against rural-urban as well as regional variations in lifestyles using survey data randomly sampled from resident registration lists of rural and urban municipalities in four German states. As a measurement instrument we use Otte's (2004) lifestyle typology conceptualized along two dimensions: a level of living and a modernity/biographical perspective. Replicating it supra-regionally for the first time, we provide evidence of its reliability and construct validity, albeit with some reservations for East Germany. In essence, inhabitants of large cities prove to be more modern, biographically open, and unconventional; East Germans tend to have a reduced level of living – even when differences in social structural composition are controlled for.

Abstract

In his classic article, Wirth (1938) asserted that urban ways of life would eventually spread into rural areas through enhanced mobility and communicative interconnectedness. This view is shared by many contemporary urban sociologists who claim that disparities in prosperity and shrinking regions have replaced the rural-urban continuum as the primary dimension of spatial inequality in Germany. According to Fischer's (1975) subcultural theory of urbanism, however, large cities will continue to produce and attract unconventional, nontraditional lifestyles due to a critical mass of like-minded people. In this paper, we test these hypotheses against rural-urban as well as regional variations in lifestyles using survey data randomly sampled from resident registration lists of rural and urban municipalities in four German states. As a measurement instrument we use Otte's (2004) lifestyle typology conceptualized along two dimensions: a level of living and a modernity/biographical perspective. Replicating it supra-regionally for the first time, we provide evidence of its reliability and construct validity, albeit with some reservations for East Germany. In essence, inhabitants of large cities prove to be more modern, biographically open, and unconventional; East Germans tend to have a reduced level of living – even when differences in social structural composition are controlled for.

Statistics

Citations

Downloads

239 downloads since deposited on 05 Dec 2008
25 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Sociology
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Language:German
Date:2008
Deposited On:05 Dec 2008 08:28
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:37
Publisher:Lucius & Lucius
ISSN:0340-1804
Official URL:http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=sih&AN=31977265&loginpage=Login.asp&site=ehost-live
Related URLs:http://www.luciusverlag.com/ (Publisher)

Download

Download PDF  'Urbanism as a way of life? Räumliche Variationen der Lebensführung in Deutschland'.
Preview
Filetype: PDF
Size: 1MB