Fursaev L.V., Poltavskaya M.B. Development of Theoretical Ideas About the City: Cartography and Mental Maps in Sociological Discourse

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/lp.jvolsu.2023.2.11

Lev V. Fursaev
Postgraduate Student, Department of Pedagogy, Psychology and Social Work, Volgograd State University
Prosp. Universitetsky, 100, 400062 Volgograd, Russian Federation
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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7466-4980

Mariya B. Poltavskaya
Candidate of Sciences (Sociology), Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Politology, Volgograd State University
Prosp. Universitetsky, 100, 400062 Volgograd, Russian Federation
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https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7275-626X


Abstract. The relevance of urban studies is growing with the increase population in cities, these trends have been observed worldwide for more than half a century. The main task of the presented work is to identify the stages of development of theoretical ideas about the city: from theories based on the historical and comparative method developed by the classics of sociological thought (F. Tönnies, G. Simmel, M. Weber) before the research of the second half of the 20th century, in which the accumulated sociological knowledge and methods allow enriching interdisciplinary research matrices (K. Lynch, S. Milgram). The transformation of urban research is determined by socio-cultural, economic, demographic and political factors in a particular space and time, which allows us to constantly formulate new hypotheses. The perception of the city changes with the development of knowledge: from utilitarian to meaning-forming, spiritual space. The concept of "image of the city" is considered in this study as a key one that determines the strategy of scientific research and the inclusion in the research discourse of works devoted to cartography and the development of mental maps (K. Lynch, S. Milgram, I.I. Mitin et al.). K. Lynch created mental maps based on the logic of perception of the fabric of the urban environment; maps revealed the connection between the real objects of the city and the respondents' ideas about them; the townspeople perceived the city individually, extrapolating their meanings to familiar streets and architectural objects. S. Milgram continued to develop the ideas of mental mapping. He transferred the research to the plane of personal perception: a person emotionally colors the city. These methods of studying the city make it possible to evaluate its functionality and infrastructure, to identify the daily practices of citizens, which becomes the basis formation of the "image of the city", definitions elements that make the city safe and accessible or vice versa lead to alienation. The conclusions obtained as a result of the study make it possible to form an interdisciplinary research matrix within the framework of urban sociology, to obtain a sociological interpretation of the knowledge obtained about the object of research in history, geography, cultural studies, philosophy, demography, which contributes to the expansion of research prospects and the development of related fields of knowledge.
Key words: image of the city, sociology of the city, urban studies, urban environment, mental maps, cartography, Russian cities.

Citation. Fursaev L.V., Poltavskaya M.B. Development of Theoretical Ideas About the City: Cartography and Mental Maps in Sociological Discourse. Logos et Praxis, 2023, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 109-121. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/lp.jvolsu.2023.2.11

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