Book review – Jerome Krase (2012) Seeing Cities Change: Local Culture and Class. (Farnham: Ashgate).

the city inside out

This book review first appeared on LSE Review of Books. Clickhere to see original review.


Jerome Krase is an eminent visual sociologist who has for decades photographed the ways that cities in North America have changed through immigrant life and practices. Seeing Cities Change is one of his more important publications which brings together his collection of photographs into a study of urban transformation through photo-documentation. The book is focussed on particular ‘immigrant neighbourhoods’ such as the Chinatowns, Little Italies and Little Polands in ‘western’ cities such as New York, Paris, London, Belgium. The author’s main argument is that it is possible to visually “read” how the “meanings of urban spaces are changed by ordinary people…and in the process how their agency helps them to become both producers and products of those spaces” (p 250). At the heart of this book is the important assertion that spaces matter, material culture matters, architecture matters…

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