Singapore University of Social Sciences

Urban Sociology

Urban Sociology (SOC356)


SOC356 Urban Sociology studies the significance of cities in the social, economic, and political lives of contemporary societies. It introduces students to the discipline of urban sociology to facilitate their examination of the city through the perspectives of various social theorists and urban scholars. In doing so, this class combines theoretical materials with students’ experiences in living in Singapore as one of Asia’s global cities. In addition to critically examining existing theories that are largely originated from Europe and the United States, this course will address urban political economy and globalisation, international migration and urban diversity, the city as a locus of different forms of social inequalities, various urban social problems, and sustainable development and the future of the city.

Level: 3
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every July


  • Introduction
  • Unpacking the Urban: A Sociological Approach to Cities and Urban Life
  • Theorizing the City: Classical Perspectives
  • Theorizing the City: Contemporary Perspectives
  • Theorizing the City – A Practical Guide
  • Urbanization Unleashed: Global and Local Perspective
  • The Divided City: Examining Urban Inequalities
  • Urban Problems
  • Screening the City – A Critical Guide
  • Who Rules the City? Urban Politics and Governance
  • Community Powers
  • Citadels of Civilization? Contemporary Urban Cultural Processes through the City

Learning Outcome

  • Discuss cultural, economic, political, and social forces in urbanisms, urbanisation and urban developments
  • Examine the emergence of social trends, issues and processes within urban contexts
  • Evaluate the role of social institutions and processes in urban planning, developments and politics
  • Compare and appraise different experiences of urbanisms in global North and South contexts
  • Analyse socio-cultural and political patterns through the contemporary urban forms
  • Apply urban and social theories in the examination of urban trends
  • Develop writing skills that display cognizance of urban analysis
  • Use urban cases to assess implications of social trends, issues and processes
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