This week, you have read a selection from two of the most influential pieces of urban writing of the nineteenth century. The work of Engels and the work of Riis challenged the way citizens perceived the economic and material conditions around them. The lecture contextualizes the dramatic changes and challenges taking place in industrializing cities. These challenges included as overcrowding in subpar housing, the spread of disease because of poor sanitation, and inequalities faced my millions of wage laborers (often immigrants). You read how the middle class, urban reformers and social commentators responded to such circumstances.
In your post, please respond to the following (the first two are for administrative purposes; the last two relate to this week’s course content):
1. I would like to know how you found out about this online class and why you chose to enroll in it. We have a full class, which is great, so we want to know exactly why we were successful in getting you all signed on!
2. Please tell me whether you are a Burbank campus student, or a San Diego campus student.
3. Describe the differences you see between Jane Addams’ approach to urban poverty and that of Friedrich Engels. What parallels to each approach do you see in our contemporary urban landscape (i.e. are there individuals, groups or political institutions that seem to align with one approach or the other as they focus to meet the needs of our cities today?)
4. Why do you think Jacob Riis’ work was so influential in stimulating legislation when dozens of other “urban investigative reporters” had been publishing reports and illustrations since the 1850s without the same level of public reaction? In your answer, select an image (post it in your response) from the online Riis photographic collection to help you make your point. Does this shed light on the way we currently understand problems within our cities? Do you have an example?
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