Chapter one presents the research question and approach of this study. During the last twenty years, a shift of power has occurred from the central government to the local government, which has resulted in new relations between the local government and private initiatives. Citizens have increasingly been called upon to be active and responsible, especially the highly educated citizens with new service occupations, called the new middle class. In residential terms, however, urban ties of the new middle class are limited, since they have left the city in great numbers from the 1960s onwards. Revitalizing the city to create appealing residential areas, therefore to a great deal happens with this social category in mind. The new middle class is also considered to be very mobile, which is claimed to result in a certain indifferent attitude towards social problems and social relations in the hometown. Whereas, in the 1970s, the new middle class was generally famous for its civic attitudes, these days, according to studies from the ´Sociaal en Cultureel Planbureau ´, this urban involvement has been decreasing steadily for some years now. The city is in a so-called ‘double bind’. It has become increasingly autonomous, but the arguably most socially active citizens are only partially urban in terms of residence, and are also supposedly very mobile. It is therefore necessary to find out to which extent and in which ways the new middle class is actually tied to the city, which is the general research question of this study. The case is the new middle class of Rotterdam.

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Burgers, Prof. Dr. J.P.L. (promotor)
J.P.L. Burgers (Jack)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Department of Sociology

van der Land, M. (2003, December 23). Vluchtige verbondenheid: Stedelijke bindingen van de Rotterdamse nieuwe middenklasse. Retrieved from