Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/36340
Title: THE GLOBAL MIDDLE CLASS AND URBAN MODERNITY: AN INSTITUTIONALIST PERSPECTIVE ON CITY MAKING
Authors: TAN WEI XIAN ALVIN
Keywords: Global middle class, urban modernity, city making, global cities, institutionalism, consumption
Issue Date: 22-Aug-2012
Source: TAN WEI XIAN ALVIN (2012-08-22). THE GLOBAL MIDDLE CLASS AND URBAN MODERNITY: AN INSTITUTIONALIST PERSPECTIVE ON CITY MAKING. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This thesis departs from political economic explanations of global city making, proposing that social scientists adopt an institutionalist perspective to make sense of the current phase of global city development, characterized by policy concerns with consumption and lifestyle. Using the concept of city making as a broad label for organized activities that shape cities, I argue that city making has undergone a qualitative shift in the last few decades, driven by two interrelated trends, the proliferation of diverse formal organizations and the rise of the global middle class. While organizational interests are diverse and not necessarily economically driven, they converge on the global middle class as a major reference point. The global middle class enters into city making in two ways, 1) acting as a "constituted actor," framed by marketing, media and market research organizations that observe the rise of the global middle class consumer through their data and reports; 2) as professional experts - including obvious ones such as policymakers, architects, urban planners, scientists, but also less obvious ones, such as journalists, market researchers, business executives, social activists - who occupy professional roles at organizations which contribute to the rationalization of city visions. The result is an emergent global field of organized city making, which is constituted around the rationalization of models of how cities ought to be in an age of global modernity. By focusing on the role of the global middle class as a major reference point for city making, this work aims to expand the notion of city making beyond the traditional focus on economic processes and economic actors in shaping cities.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/36340
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Open)

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