Based on your experiences growing up in the city and/or living there now, do you find normal descriptions of the city life accurate?
If you grew up in the city or currently live in the city, discuss the description of the norm of non-involvement, the sense of alienation, and personalization of activities. Also, discuss the types of people who live in the city according to the typology presented by Herbert Gans. Provide examples in your explanation.
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Experiences of growing up in a city have been presented by many novelists and psychologists - two that spring to mind instantly are James Joyce ("Dubliners" and "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man") and T.S. Eliot ("The Prelude.") There are of course different types of people who live in a city - in Dublin for example at the turn of the century the city was a collection of conurbated villages where everyone still knew everyone else's business because the city was small and families large and overlapping. T.S. Eliot on the other hand presents a more familar view of city life where the centre is daily populated only, because the people are identity-less commuters servicing the huge financial and establishment agencies. Due to the alien environment, trust has not built up and people are self-protective and non-engaging with strangers who could be anyone with any disorder.
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