The missing organizational dimension in Urban sociology

Michael McQuarrie, Nicole P. Marwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Our article takes issue with the treatment of organizations in much urban sociology. We argue that both Marxian political economists and Chicagoan ethnographers and quantitative analysts treat organizations as derivative rather than productive of urban social relations. This problem is not epistemological or methodological. Instead, it is rooted in the objects of analysis that urban sociologists choose. Drawing on key elements of structuration theory, we attempt to lay the groundwork for improving the treatment of organizations in urban sociology by flagging some of the key insights in the sociology of organizations. We do not view this intellectual borrowing as a one-way street, and we emphasize that urbanists have a contribution to make to sociological thinking about organizations. Correcting these problems is essential if we are to understand the link between contemporary institutional transformations and urban neighborhoods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-268
Number of pages22
JournalCity and Community
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urban Studies


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