Urban culture  

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Rue de la Colonie (1900) - Eugène Atget
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Rue de la Colonie (1900) - Eugène Atget

Fex urbis lex orbis

Pruitt-Igoe housing project
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Pruitt-Igoe housing project
L'Absinthe (1876) - Edgar Degas
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L'Absinthe (1876) - Edgar Degas

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Urban culture is the culture of cities. Cities all over the world, past and present, have behaviors and cultural elements that separate them from otherwise comparable rural areas.

In the US and UK, "urban" is often used as a euphemism to describe hip hop culture or subsets of black culture; being these defined groups as a type of urban tribe. Hence names for cultural artifacts like urban music could be seen as a new term for "Race music". It can also refer to the greater availability of cultural resources (such as art, theatre, events, etc) as compared to suburban or rural areas.

The defining theme is the presence of a great number of very different people in a very limited space - most of them are strangers to each other. This makes it possible to build up a vast array of subcultures close to each other, exposed to each other's influence, but without necessarily intruding into people's private lives.

In the United States, Urban culture has been used as a euphemistic reference to contemporary African-American culture.

Urban areas

Globally, urban areas tend to also be home to concentrations of power, such as government capitals and corporate headquarters, and the wealthy and powerful people that are employed in them. Cities also organize people, create norms, beliefs, and values. As outlined by Max Weber in his book, The City, "there are five things that make a city: fortification, market, a law code, an association of urban citizenry creating a sense of municipal corporateness, and sufficient political autonomy for urban citizens to choose the city’s governors." In some countries, elites have built themselves enclaves outside of the central city (e.g. white flight in the United States).

Politics and social trends

In most of the Western world, urban areas tend to be politically to the left of suburban and rural areas, even if deindustrialization has reduced the influence of labour unions and the working class, the new urban left is supported by upper middle class white-collar workers, students and academics, and creative types (artists). Urbanites also tend to be less religious, more environmentalist, and more open to immigration than rural people.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Urban culture" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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