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Reviews the works of several authors, each of whom has developed his own view of the city. Systems analyst Jay Forrester describes the city as a closed system in which various economic forces combine to produce an unhappy syndrome. Anthropologist Oscar Lewis sees the problem in terms of the culture of poverty. Sociologist Richard Sennett looks at the social structure of the urban neighborhood and the social psychology of the city dweller for his answer. And political analyst Edward Banfield sees political conflict, stalemate, and timidity at the root of the problem. Banfield also argues that faulty criteria and assumptions, tenuous logic, and loose rhetoric cause us to identify and exaggerate a crisis in the cities. Author Yates criticizes urban theorists, with the exception of Oscar Lewis, for becoming too far removed from a street level experience of urban problems. 12 pp.

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