HUMAN BEHAVIOR IN THE CITY ENVIRONMENT
characteristic is that they are composed of persons of the same race, or of persons of different races but of the same social class, is East London, with a population of 2,000,000 laborers. "The people of the original East London have now overflowed and crossed the Lea, and spread themselves over the marshes and meadows beyond. This population has created new towns which were formerly rural villages, West Ham, with a population of nearly 300,000; East Ham, with 90,000; Stratford, with its "daughters," 150,000; and other "hamlets" similarly overgrown. Including these new populations we have an aggregate of nearly two millions of people. The population is greater than that of Berlin or Vienna, or St. Peters- burg, or Philadelphia. "It is a city full of churches and places of worship, yet there are no cathe- drals, either Anglican or Roman; it has a sufficient supply of elementary schools, but it has no public or high school, and it has no colleges for the higher education and no university; the people all read newspapers, yet there is no East London paper except of the smaller and local kind In the streets there are never seen any private carriages; there is no fashionable quarter .... one meets no ladies in the principal thoroughfares. People, shops, houses, conveyances — all together are stamped with the unmistakable seal of the working class. "Perhaps the strangest thing of all is this: in a city of two millions of people there are no hotels! That means, of course, that there are no visitors." 1 In the older cities of Europe, where the processes of segregation have gone farther, neighborhood distinctions are likely to be more marked than they are in America. East London is a city of a single class, but within the limits of that city the population is segregated again and again by racial and vocational interests. Neighborhood sentiment, deeply rooted in local tradition and in local custom, exercises a decisive selective influence upon city population and shows itself ultimately in a marked way in the characteristics of the inhabitants. What we want to know of these neighborhoods, racial com- munities, and segregated city areas, existing within or on the outer edge of great cities, is what we want to know of all other social groups. What are the elements of which they are composed ? To what extent are they the product of a selective process ? How do people get in and out of the group thus formed ? What are the relative permanence and stability of their populations ?
Walter Besant, East London, pp. 7-9.