GEO300.1 Society and Politics in Globalizing Megacities: Istanbul in Comparative and Critical Perspective (Fall, Spring)

How do global cities come into being in the developing world? In what ways do the concomitant globalization and expansion of a metropolis shape the socio-economic, cultural, and political conditions and experiences of the city residents? And what kind of individual and collective practices so social and political actors carry out to promote, resist, or negotiate these transformations? This course explores these and other related questions by studying the case of Istanbul from a comparative and critical perspective. More specifically, the course will probe into the alterations in urban economy and governance, issues of social inequality and urban marginalization, questions of identity and belonging in the midst of global flows of culture and people, urban redevelopment and its social and ecological consequences, urban social movements and new forms of citizenship, and debates over public security and urban violence. As we examine these issues, we will draw on sociological and interdisciplinary theoretical readings, empirical case studies of other megacities, historical analysis, and most importantly field activities designed to encourage students’ active engagement with the city. The course, thus, seeks to be much more than an abstract introduction to urban phenomena in a classroom setting by integrating learning into the students’ daily experience in and of Istanbul in ways that will foster a richer study abroad experience. Meets with SOC 300.1.

Department: Geography

Location: Istanbul

Semesters: Fall, Spring

Credits: 3