This is a social and cultural analysis of community life in metropolitan areas of three nations--the United States, Sweden, and England. The author focuses on how environment and culture interact to shape human behavior. Despite their many similarities, the three societies offer remarkably contrasting urban forms, and thus provide a unique opportunity for comparative research. The findings suggest goals for urban community development in America that can help regain a sense of human scale and establish more meaningful face-to-face contact among urban dwellers.
David Popenoe is professor of sociology at Rutgers University. He has had visiting appointments in the Centre for Environment Studies (London), the University of Stockholm, New York University, and the University of Pennsylvania. Among his other books are: Distributing the Nest: Family Change and Decline in Modern Societies; The Suburban Environment: Sweden and the United States; Neighborhood, City and Metropolis; The Urban Industrial Frontier and a basic text on sociology that will soon appear in its seventh edition.