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This volume presents a kaleidoscopic view of the norms and forms of contemporary city life, focusing especially on the processes of social capital (de)formation in the urban milieu. It brings together studies from highly diverse urban settings, such as squatter re-settlement projects in Kathmandu, urban funeral societies in Africa, an HIV/AIDS community in Los Angeles, the poor of Harare, pensioners in Shanghai, Maori gangs in Auckland, and a Roma boxing club in Prague, among others. Contributors draw on contemporary theory and research in social capital, political economy, urban planning and policy, social movements, civil society and democracy to explore how social norms, networks, connections and ties are created, deployed - and often frayed - under conditions of social complexity, inequality, cultural pluralism, and the ethno-racial diversity and division characteristic of urban contexts throughout the world. In this way, the volume engages in a genuinely globalized - and globalizing - discussion of contemporary urban social life and stands as a unique and timely interdisciplinary contribution to the ever-expanding literature devoted to social capital.