Systematic Structures influences on Society

Could the systems already in place affect and influence surrounding communities? Is government that influential when pertaining to one’s thoughts? In his City of Rhetoric, author David Fleming argues how systematic structures influence the way society is formed. He discusses how built systems can control society’s viewpoints and believes these influences have more to do with physical structures. While discussing the physical structures and built systems, Fleming explores the way community living environments in particular areas such as towns, villages, and counties. Through his exploration, Fleming notes that these commonplaces and topois shape human experience and identity. Fleming uses examples such as political parties to argue that point across.

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located in a Chicago neighborhood

“Both republicanism and liberalism were tied to systems of exclusion, enslavement, and violence and based on models of “publicity” that are no longer acceptable: republicanism, with its subordination of the individual to the community; liberalism, with its dream of an unencumbered self whose rights are set over against the community. In rejecting these, we also reject the old notions of political space and time on which they were based, and we commit ourselves to crafting an alternative political ecology” (30).

Within this, Fleming discusses how both political parties have changed and influenced surrounding communities, which has caused shifts within. These shifts have caused uproars in communities, in which violence and mentalities are altered. This idea is very true and very reflective to what is happening within current society. An example would include the start of the 2017 presidency and the rocky start America is having during the Trump reign.


Fleming, David. City of Rhetoric. Ithaca, US: SUNY Press, 2008. Web. 15 February 2017.

Reading Analysis One: Schindler Part One

In her Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Design of the Built Environment, author Sarah Schindler explores discrimination amongst people of different ethnic and class groups. Ultimately, Schindler argues that laws and regulations placed within certain communities restrict minorities from moving forward. Not only do laws and regulations enact as barriers, but architectural buildings and structures are key influences to setbacks within these communities. Thus, alluding to the idea of systematic and manipulation oppression.   

Throughout this article, Schindler tries to convince the reader that architecture is a major influence when pertaining to negative societal environments. Schindler argues this with examples such as Robert Moses’ Long Island bridges. Moses is known for building and designing low rise bridges designated for overpasses, which initially make buses and large vehicles challenging to pass. Schindler states, “Moses’s  biographer  suggests  that  his  decision  to  favor  upper-and middle-class white people who owned cars at the expense of the poor and African-Americans was due to his “social-class bias and racial prejudice” (1953). The low rise bridges were originally designated to create racial and lower income minorities limited access.

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One of Robert Moses’ Long Island Bridges

Moses’ bridge is a clear example of how not only systematic oppression and manipulation is within laws and regulations, but buildings and architecture can also create negative societal influences and oppression. Minorities are clearly the target within societal physical structures such as basic bridge structures, which are creating limited access among communities. Architectural influence is far more influential than one might think. Schindler’s argument is important, because societal environment and architectural influence is physically more present amongst communities compared to systematic laws in placed. Moss was able to manipulate the system and create a divide between races and classes and lawmakers limited efforts dismantling this form of discrimination. Thus, these limited efforts created division and oppression amongst minorities.    


Sarah Schindler. “Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Design of the Built Environment.” The Yale Law Review, 2015, 1937–2023.