Urban Life: Readings in the Anthropology of the City by George  Gmelch, Petra  Kuppinger
527 pages, $53.95 list
1-4786-3569-X
978-1-4786-3569-7
eBook availability
Urban Life
Readings in the Anthropology of the City
Sixth Edition
More than half of the world’s population lives in cities. What are their lives like in very different global and globalizing cities? How can urban anthropologists study and understand the diverse and complex experiences of urban dwellers all over the globe?

The latest edition of Urban Life explores questions about how to study urban lives and examines experiences of urban inhabitants in cities across the globe. Authors ask questions such as, how can one study the activities in a huge fish market in Tokyo? How do elderly residents benefit from urban agriculture in New York City? How do people maneuver ever-present traffic jams in Istanbul? How do low-income residents in Cairo manage their lives drawing on neighborhood social networks? How do immigrants fight for green spaces in Paris? How do families manage transnational ties between New York City and Ecuador?

The book is organized into six parts: Urban Fieldwork; Communities; Urban Structure, Inequality, and Survival; Immigrants, Migrants, and Refugees; Changing Cities; and Current Topics in Urban Anthropology. The last part addresses issues at the forefront of anthropological research and broader political debates, like environmental justice, disability and accessibility, and access to water supplies. Each part includes an introduction and each chapter is preceded by notes about its context and relevance. The rich ethnographic content of the chapters makes them highly accessible to students while addressing relevant topics and themes.
Reactions
“The book covers a broad range of topics—both classics and more contemporary pieces. It really provides students with a thoughtful and insightful lens.” — Devin Heyward, Saint Peter’s University

“I have been using this reader since the second edition. The manner in which you drop and add new materials in each edition conveys current and new directions of the field. Excellent reader!” — Anthony Andrews, New College of Florida

“I have used earlier editions of this work for classes in the past and think it is a strong text in the field with an effective treatment of the many topics therein.” — EJ Ford, University of South Florida
Table of Contents
Part 1: URBAN FIELDWORK
1. Anthropological Fieldwork in Cities (George M. Foster and Robert V. Kemper)
2. Networks, Neighborhoods, and Markets: Fieldwork in Tokyo (Theodore C. Bestor)
3. Nomads in the City: Studying Irish Travellers (Sharon Bohn Gmelch)
4. Moscow Encounters: Ethnography in a Global Urban Village (Melissa L. Caldwell)
5. Student Fieldworkers in Village and City (George Gmelch and Sharon Bohn Gmelch)
6. Shadowing as a Methodology: Notes from Research in Strasbourg, Amsterdam, Barcelona, and Milan (Oguz Alyanak, Sherria Ayuandini, Guillermo Martin-Saiz, and Lauren Crossland-Marr)

Part 2: URBAN COMMUNITIES
7. Urban Danger: Life in a Neighborhood of Strangers (Sally Engle Merry)
8. The Edge and the Center: Gated Communities and the Discourse of Urban Fear (Setha M. Low)
9. Rethinking Camps: Palestinian Refugees in Damascus, Syria (Nell Gabiam)
10. Families, Friends, Neighbors, and Communities in Chinese Cities (William Jankowiak and Robert L. Moore)
11. Thick Connections: Daily Life in an Urban Community in Egypt (Farha Ghannam)
12. Beyond Urban and Rural Communities in the 21st Century (Walter P. Zenner)

Part 3: URBAN STRUCTURE, INEQUALITY, AND SURVIVAL
13. How Urban Ethnography Counters Myths about the Poor (Judith Goode)
14. Office Work and the Crack Alternative among Puerto Rican Drug Dealers in East Harlem (Philippe Bourgois)
15. The View from the Front Desk: Addressing Homelessness and the Homeless in Dallas (Julie Adkins)
16. Gangs, Poverty, and the Future (James Diego Vigil)
17. ". . . And Then the Wall Was Knocked Down": Movements, Politics, and the Built Environment in Multiethnic Paris (Andrew Newman)

Part 4: IMMIGRANTS, MIGRANTS, AND REFUGEES
18. Cityward Migration in Comparative Perspective (Caroline B. Brettell and Robert V. Kemper)
19. Transnationalism, Old and New: New York Immigrants (Nancy Foner)
20. The Extended Community: Migration and Transformation in Tzintzuntzan, Mexico (Robert V. Kemper)
21. From Cuenca, Ecuador, to New York, U.S.A.: Families and Transnational Lives (Ann Miles)
22. Global Transactions: Sudanese Refugees Sending Money Home (Dianna J. Shandy)

Part 5: CHANGING CITIES
23. Hyderabad: Continuities and Transformations (Karen Isaksen Leonard)
24. Sofia: City of Contradictions (Kristen Ghodsee)
25. Dakar: Transformations, Clothing, and Identities (Suzanne Scheld)

Part 6: CURRENT TOPICS IN URBAN ANTHROPOLOGY
26. Elders, Urban Community Gardens, Civic Ecology, and the Quest for Community (Jay Sokolovsky)
27. Green Apple, Brown Spots: Environmental Gentrification in New York City (Melissa Checker)
28. Waste and Garbage in the City: A Case Study from Cairo, Egypt (Petra Kuppinger)
29. Life in Gridlock: Traffic and Transportation in Istanbul (Berna Yazici)
30. Left Dry: Water, Politics, and Exclusion in Mumbai (Nikhil Anand)
31. Making a Living in the City: Children and Work in Guatemala City (Thomas Offit and Petra Kuppinger)
32. Infrastructures of Accessibility in Urban Ecuador (Nick Rattray)
33. Preaching, Place-Making, Community-Building, and Gardening: Lived Religion in a German City (Petra Kuppinger)