History repeats itself, but how? city character, urban tradition, and the accomplishment of place

H. Molotch, W. Freudenburg, K. E. Paulsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study shows how places, and by implication other societal units as well, achieve and reproduce distinctiveness. It does this by specifying how actors in two California urban areas, over approximately 100 years, responded differently to the same exogenous forces. Each place is examined to determine how unlike elements conjoin to produce a particular "character" at any given moment and how this character travels through time to constitute a local "tradition." Borrowing from advances in analyses of structure and agency, this study displays character and tradition as accomplished interaction and helps make an elusive process empirically evident and accessible for study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)791-823
Number of pages33
JournalAmerican sociological review
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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