Tiny Logo for Comm 149 Dr. Andrew Wood
Office: HGH 210; phone: (408) 924-5378
Email: wooda@email.sjsu.edu
Web: http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/wooda

Life on the edge, community on the margins

"In cities like Los Angeles, on the bad edge of postmodernity, one observes an unprecedented tendency to merge urban design, architecture and the police apparatus into a single comprehensive security effort."

- Mike Davis, City of Quartz

Thus far, we've examined a dialectical tension between government and corporate influences over the shaping of public life. After 1945, it appeared that government had secured its role at the center of American society. Yet, during the sixties, our faith in the state collapsed. Communities no longer follow the centralized visions of federal planners; they sprout along the cracks left by corporate enclaves and superhighways. Public parks and town squares similarly grow less and less important as television draws us inward from our front porches. Thus we must question whether community can sustain itself in the new century. The growing privatization and simulation of public locales, the proliferating media that enhance individual pursuits, and the decline in traditional socializing institutions portend, to some critics, the end of public life in America. These critics may be right. However, as we shall see, they may have overlooked the emergence of new technologies and social forces leading to an even more tightly knit community than has ever before existed.

Readings: Garreau, Davis, Putnam and Miller

Notes: Garreau and Davis

Notes: Putnam and Miller

Supplemental Essay: Two Nights in Reagan National Airport

Off-campus webpages

Note: These pages exist outside of San Jose State University servers and their content is not endorsed by the page maintainer or any other university entity. These pages have been selected because they may provide some guidance or insight into the issues discussed in class. Because one can never step into the same electronic river twice, the pages may or may not be available when you request them. If you have any questions or suggestions, please email Dr. Andrew Wood.

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