This chapter presents some concluding thoughts from the author. The primary goal of this book has been to offer an alternative for theoretically grounding empirical investigation of the problem of social integration and social order in the city and beyond. It has challenged the notion that, in contemporary society, integration and order are produced principally within geographically bounded subareas of the city. The book has argued that integration and order derive substantially from the distribution of resources and opportunities within particular fields of economic and political action—such as housing production, government spending, and employment—and that the competitive and cooperative processes underlying this distribution should thus be a principal focus of urban sociologists interested in poverty and inequality. An examination of the economic and political fields within which community-based organizations carry out their daily activities also yields a more complete understanding of how social integration and social order are produced in contemporary society.
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