Lkboehm's Blog

Urban History Blog

Virtual Cities July 6, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — lkboehm @ 4:21 am

Time Magazine has devoted an entire issue to the concept of the virtual city.  Technology is changing the experience of living in cities so quickly that it seems impossible for us to even digest these changes.  As we battle environmental issues, green technology beckons with hope for the future.  As we consider how to feed, clothe, and house a growing population, technology offers some ideas for how to accomplish these tasks for efficiently. And technology changes our everyday social life, connecting us to others that do not share our spaces.

I am currently reading a fascinating work on the West Indian nanny population of Brooklyn, written by sociologist Tamara Brown.  Brown is an assistant professor of sociology at Brooklyn College. Brown finds that nannies can ease the isolation of caring for children of middle class and affluent families by connecting with other immigrants via cell phones.  Cell phones allow them to stay in touch during the day, and work out the logistics of planning to meet in public areas like the park or public library.  Without technology, the day-to-day existence of household workers would be far more lonely.  Cell phones allow for greater adult contact and some connection with the familiar themes of home countries.  I will be publishing my formal review of this intriguing book in an upcoming isse of Labor History.  See the link to purchase this book below.

Time Magazine on the Virtual City:,28804,2026474_2026675_2078442,00.html


Tamara Brown’s Raising Brooklyn:

Book jacket for Raising Brooklyn