concentric zone theory
. The theory posits concentric zones round the central area, defined by their residential composition, moving from the very poor and socially deviant, in the inner zone of transition, to a peripheral suburban commuter ring.
Burgess himself argued that this structure is the result of competition between users for land—a process analogous to the ecological competition between biological species for territory. In human societies, these ‘biotic’ processes are overlaid by cultural processes, which limit the conflict and social disorganization resulting from unfettered territorial competition. Control is exercised through the division of the population into distinctive groups, defined by common ethnic identity, occupational status, or economic position. Within each zone, groups occupy particular natural areas, so forming an ‘urban mosaic’ of local communities. Social and economic mobility cause changes in the pattern of territorial occupation, via the ecological processes of invasion, domination, and succession.
This model is an ideal type. However, geographers and economists subsequently proposed more complex diagrams of urban structure and typologies of the natural areas, aided by the advent of large data-sets and computer technology. This social area analysis largely ignores the wider issues of social process and structure which concerned Burgess and his colleagues in their distinctive contribution to the development of urban sociology. See also CHICAGO SOCIOLOGY; HOUSING CLASS; INVASION–SUCCESSION MODEL; URBAN ECOLOGY.
"concentric zone theory." A Dictionary of Sociology. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 19, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/concentric-zone-theory
"concentric zone theory." A Dictionary of Sociology. . Retrieved February 19, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/concentric-zone-theory
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.