Tag Archives: suburban studies

“The Suburbs” Deconstructed | An Interview with Christopher Niedt

I’ve made a couple great discoveries this week. First, there is the National Center for Suburban Studies (NCSS). This group is dedicated to the study of Suburban issues. Perfect!

Second, in conjunction with the NCSS is its Academic Director Christopher Niedt. I hope to find out more about his work. Listen to this radio interview with Niedt. It is about the album “The Suburbs” by Arcade Fire. This is where pop culture meets academia.

Chapter Two | Theoretical Framework and Literature Review

Key theoretical lenses for social science research

The scope of this research has an interdisciplinary span. It is deeply theological, yet it draws from a broader theoretical framework in two academic fields. The first is the field of Adult Learning Theory. The second is the field of sociology and urban studies with a special focus on suburban studies.

Key texts and authors

Epistemological Considerations

It is important to preface a discussion of adult learning theory by situating the discussion within an epistemological framework. This research and literature review is not intended to expound upon philosophical hermeneutics, but it is important to note that the research and researcher is situated within a post-positivist constructivist framework.[1] Two key philosophers will be germane to the framing of this conversation. The first is Jürgen Habermas and The Theory of Communicative Action[2]. This is broadly known as Critical Social Theory. Gary Simpson helps to understand Habermas’ work in his book Critical Social Theory.[3] The second philosopher is Hans-Georg Gadamer in his work Truth and Method,[4] where he discusses the fusion of horizons and linguisticality. This is important to note because this theoretical frame creates the basis for using Participatory Action Research as the primary research methodology for this project.  The members of the congregations to be studied will work in conjunction with the researcher to communicatively construct new ideas and practices that will shape the research itself. read more

Reading List for Comprehensive Exams

20130703-090137.jpgThe following list represents the books I must internalize for my comprehensive exams this September. There are 94 primary sources. These are the ones I am expected to cite and work into my argument. There are 73 supporting sources. It will go well for me the more of these I can include. That makes a total of 167 books. This list will form the core of the literature review for my dissertation.

Click here to view the collection of reviews.

Guess what I’ll be doing this summer!

Primary Sources

Ammerman, Nancy Tatom, and Arthur Emery Farnsley. Congregation & Community. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1997. read more

New Study Shows Major Changes Coming to the Twin Cities Suburbs

The Star Tribune ran an opinion piece in yesterday’s paper that highlights an important demographic study commissioned by the Met Council. (read the simplified report or the actual Demographic study – Trends, Preferences, and Opportunities)

The following is the executive summary from the report:

“For the metro area as a whole and the central and non-central counties, there will be important changes from 2010 to 2040:

For the Twin Cities Metro area as a whole, senior citizens (65+) will account for 58 percent of the share of the population change between 2010 and 2040. In the central counties of Hennepin and Ramsey, seniors will account for 70 percent of the population change while for all other counties their share will be 47 percent. The aging of existing residents will be a dominant demographic change. read more