I don’t mean to make a scene, but please open your eyes and look around. There are complex scenes everywhere and we have all served witness to them. A scene is an experience in which we feel connected to other people. Scenes also cultivate skills, create ambiances, and nourish communities.
In Scenescapes: How Qualities of Place Shape Social Life
(University of Chicago Press, 2016), Daniel Aaron Silver and Terry Nichols Clark examine the patterns and consequences of amenities that shape our daily lives. They articulate the core dimensions of the theatricality, authenticity, and legitimacy of local and global scenes (e.g., churches, cafes, restaurants, parks, galleries, bowling alleys, and more). The scenes that make up a city are reciprocally part of shaping (and reshaping) the economic development, residential patterns, and political attitudes and actions of its people. Silver and Clark challenge us to reimagine the city in cultural terms and to think about the influences of place.
Dr. Daniel Aaron Silver
is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto, Scarborough. He conducts research in the areas of social theory, cities, culture, and cultural policy. Silver is co-editor of The Politics of Urban Cultural Policy and for Theory (the Newsletter of the International Sociological Association Research Committee on Sociological Theory). He was the recipient of the 2013 Theory Prize and received an honorable mention for the 2015 Junior Theorist Award, both from the American Sociological Association Theory Section. Silver is currently researching the role of arts and culture in city politics, economics, and residential patterns; the enduring political orders of cities; the use of diagrams and figures in social theory; and international variations in how sociological theory is taught.
Dr. Terry Nichols Clark
is Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago. He is the International Coordinator of the Fiscal Austerity and Urban Innovation Project, which is surveying city officials across the United States and in thirty-five other countries. Clark also serves as a board member for the Cultural Policy Center at University of Chicago; he is a Task Force Member for Advancing Chicago’s Civic Agenda Through the Arts; and serves as Co-Chair for the Cultural Institutions Committee, Task Force on Quality of Life in Bronzeville, Chicago. Clarks research interest is in the use of decision-making theory to approach urban politics and other social phenomena.
Michael O. Johnston is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at William Penn University. He is currently conducting research on the continuous process that occurs with placemaking at farmers’ market.