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Democracy in Suburbia / Edition 1
     

Democracy in Suburbia / Edition 1

by J. Eric Oliver
 

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ISBN-10: 0691088802

ISBN-13: 9780691088808

Pub. Date: 08/06/2001

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Suburbanization is often blamed for a loss of civic engagement in contemporary America. How justified is this claim? Just what is a suburb? How do social environments shape civic life? Looking beyond popular stereotypes, Democracy in Suburbia answers these questions by examining how suburbs influence citizen participation in community and public affairs.

Overview

Suburbanization is often blamed for a loss of civic engagement in contemporary America. How justified is this claim? Just what is a suburb? How do social environments shape civic life? Looking beyond popular stereotypes, Democracy in Suburbia answers these questions by examining how suburbs influence citizen participation in community and public affairs. Eric Oliver offers a rich, engaging account of what suburbia means for American democracy and, in doing so, speaks to the heart of widespread debate on the health of our civil society.

Applying an innovative, unusually rigorous mode of statistical analysis to a wealth of unique survey and census data, Oliver argues that suburbs, by institutionalizing class and racial differences with municipal boundaries, transform social conflicts between citizens into ones between political institutions. In reducing the incentives for individual political participation, suburbanization has negated the benefits of ''small town'' government and deprived metropolitan areas of valuable civic capacity. This ultimately increases prospects of serious social conflict.

Oliver concludes that we must reconfigure suburban governments to allow seemingly intractable issues of common metropolitan concern to surface in local politics rather than be ignored as cross-jurisdictional. And he believes this is possible without sacrifice of local government's advantages. Scholars and students of political science, sociology, and urban affairs will prize this book for its striking findings, its revealing scrutiny of the commonplace, and its insights into how the pursuit of the American dream may be imperiling American democracy.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691088808
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
08/06/2001
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
312
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.64(d)

Table of Contents

List of Maps and Figures ix
List of Tables xiii
Acknowledgments xv
Chapter One: The Rise of a Surburban Demos 1
Chapter Two: All Cries Great and Small 33
Chapter Three: Cities of Riches and Squalor 68
Chapter Four: The Civic Paradox of Racial Segreation 99
Chapter Five: A Bedroom Polis 134
Chapter Six: Boomtowns and the Civic Costs of Air-Conditioning 154
Chapter Seven: Reform Governments and Their Aftermath 175
Chapter Eight: Remaking the Democratic Metropolis 187
Appendix A: The Citizen Participation / Cenus Dataset 215
Appendix B: Logistic and OLS Regression Equations for the Figures 220
Appendix C: Testing the Relationship between Civic Participation and "Self-Inertest Rightly Understood" 236
References 241
Index 255

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