This article reports on two joint sessions of the British and American Sociological Associations held during the course of 2001 as a first step toward more structured dialogue and debate between the two national associations. Drawing on the comments of a number of leading academics on both sides of the Atlantic, this paper presents a series of discussions about the role and future of urban sociology. It explores the challenges and opportunities offered to urban sociology by increasing interdisciplinarity and multidisciplinarity in the field of urban studies as a whole. It then explores the role of sociology in understanding the relationship between contemporary processes of globalization and urban change and the degree to which this constitutes a new dynamic core of sociological theory and research. The paper reveals that there are a variety of alternative futures for urban sociology and there would appear to be little agreement on one specific route, nor on how to get there. Urban sociology continues to face a variety of challenges and more debate on its future trajectory is clearly needed but it remains a vital and expanding sub–field.
Beth Perry, Alan Harding
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