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This book will change the way we understand cities. It not only provides readers with an introduction to cities and urbanism in the postmodern world but also overturns many common assumptions about urban structure. Dear's analysis combines concepts of postmodernism, space, and the urban to trace the genesis of a postmodern urban condition. He provides an understanding of the intellectual, moral and political consequences of postmodernism and an evaluation of the role of space and place in contemporary social theory and philosophy.The book's introductory chapters lay out in a concise manner the principal themes in urban theory, postmodern thought, and spatial analysis. From this, Dear constructs the fabric of a postmodern urbanism, employing the precepts of Henri Lefebvre and Fredric Jameson, together with a careful reading of the landscapes of contemporary cities, including the prototypical postmodern metropolis of Los Angeles among others.In the book's final section, Dear examines some consequences of postmodern urbanism, and begins the task of defining an urban agenda for the twenty-first century.
He shows how urban studies have been transformed by postmodernism, and builds a postmodern politics that encompasses the individual and the global. Drawing as much from fiction and film, politics and history, architecture and cultural studies, as from urbanism and geography, Dear presents his vision of a twenty-first century dominated by global megacities and uncovers new ways of understanding how cities are made.
Michael Dearis Professor of Geography and Director of the Southern California Studies Center at the University of Southern California. He was recently a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, and held a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1989. He received Honors from the Association of American Geographers in 1995. He is the author/editor of ten books including
Rethinking Los Angeles (with H. Eric Schockman and Greg Hise, 1996) and
Urban Latino Cultures-La vida latina en LA (with Gustavo Leclerc and Paul Villa, 1999)as well as over 100 journal articles and reports.