Ever since Robert Ezra Park and Ernest Burgess published their classic research on Chicago which described “how” residential neighborhoods follow a distinct ecological pattern, generations of urban practitioners and theoreticians have been arguing about “why” they are spatially distributed. This essay is designed to demonstrate the utility of Visual Sociology and the study of Vernacular Landscapes to document and analyze how the built environment reflects the changing cultural identities of neighborhood residents. It is strongly suggested that a visual approach can also help build a bridge between various theoretical and applied disciplines that focus on the form and function of the metropolis. While discussing some of these often-competing models, the text is illustrated by a selection of photographs taken in Brooklyn, New York whose neighborhoods over the past century have been a virtual Roman fountain of ethnic transitions. Although many of the oldest and newest residents of Brooklyn such as Chinese, Italians, Jews, and Poles would be familiar to Park and Burgess, others such as Bangladeshis, Egyptians, and Koreans would not. Ideas about Old and New cities from the “classical” to the “post-modern”; from Park and Burgess to Harvey and Lefebvre are also synthesized via the insights of J. B. Jackson.
Krase, J. (2004), "VISUALIZING ETHNIC VERNACULAR LANDSCAPES", Krase, J. and Hutchison, R. (Ed.) Race and Ethnicity in New York City (Research in Urban Sociology, Vol. 7), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 1-24. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1047-0042(04)07001-1Download as .RIS
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