Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-2009

Subject: LCSH

Urban ecology (Sociology), Self-efficacy

Disciplines

Sociology

Abstract

The effects of cities on the subjective states of individuals have been the subject of continuous inquiry. Recent research has demonstrated potential links between immediate environments and individual outcomes such as perceived powerlessness. However, the results of such studies are inconsistent and fail to account for the greater societal environment in which observations occur. Using a more comparative, cross-national sample and multi-level modeling, we retest the expectation that the immediate physical and social environment influences feelings of powerlessness, and extend the test to consider urbanism operating at societal levels beyond the local. Controlling for demographic composition, we find that urban factors operating at both societal and local levels are important predictors of self-efficacy and powerlessness. While one factor was found to correspond with decreased self-efficacy, two aspects of urban environments—one local and one societal—are found to be consistent with Simmel's assertion that urban settings increase individual feelings of efficacy and freedom. The implications of these findings for urban theory are discussed.

Comments

We would like to thank Townsand Price-Spratlen and Christopher Browning for their comments and suggestions. © Copyright © 2009, © SAGE Publications. This is the accepted manuscript of an article published in Social Psychology Quarterly. Debies-Carl, Jeffrey S. and Christopher M. Huggins. 2009. “‘City Air Makes Free’: A Multi-Level, Cross-National Analysis of Self-Efficacy.” Social Psychology Quarterly 72(4): 343-64. The final version of the article is posted at dx.doi.org/ 10.1177/019027250907200407

DOI

10.1177/019027250907200407

Publisher Citation

Debies-Carl, Jeffrey S. and Christopher M. Huggins. 2009. “‘City Air Makes Free’: A Multi-Level, Cross-National Analysis of Self-Efficacy.” Social Psychology Quarterly 72(4): 343-64.

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Sociology Commons

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