Fenced off: The Suburbanization of American Politics / Edition 1

Fenced off: The Suburbanization of American Politics / Edition 1

by Juliet F. Gainsborough
     
 

ISBN-10: 0878408312

ISBN-13: 9780878408313

Pub. Date: 03/28/2001

Publisher: Georgetown University Press

Since the 1980s a distinctive suburban politics has emerged in the United States, Juliet F. Gainsborough argues in Fenced Off. As suburbs have become less economically and socially dependent on the central cities, suburban and urban dwellers have diverged not only in their voting patterns but also in their thinking about national politics. While political reporters

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Overview

Since the 1980s a distinctive suburban politics has emerged in the United States, Juliet F. Gainsborough argues in Fenced Off. As suburbs have become less economically and socially dependent on the central cities, suburban and urban dwellers have diverged not only in their voting patterns but also in their thinking about national politics. While political reporters have long noted this difference, few quantitative studies have been conducted on suburbanization alone -- above and beyond race or class -- as a political trend.

Using census and public opinion statistics, along with data on congressional districts and party platforms, Gainsborough demonstrates that this "ideology of localism" weakens when suburbs experience city-like problems and strengthens when racial and economic differences with the nearby city increase. In addition, Gainsborough uses national survey data from the 1950s to the 1990s to show that a separate suburban politics has arisen only during the last two decades.

Further, she argues, the political differences between urban and suburban voters have found expression in changes in congressional representation and new electoral strategies for the major political parties. As Congressional districts become increasingly suburban, "soccer moms" and liveability agendas come to dominate party platforms, and the needs of the urban poor disappear from political debate. Fenced Off uses the tools of political science to prove what political commentators have sensed -- that the suburbs offer a powerful voting bloc that is being courted with sophisticated new strategies.

Georgetown University Press

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780878408313
Publisher:
Georgetown University Press
Publication date:
03/28/2001
Series:
American Governance and Public Policy Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
200
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
1Suburban Myths Then and Now: Camptown and Arroyo Blanco1
2Political Science and the Suburbs6
3What Is a Suburb?31
4Laying the Groundwork: Methodological Issues52
5Party Identification, Vote Choice, and Policy Preferences in the Suburbs66
6Suburban Diversity and Metropolitan Context80
7Suburban Representation in Congress100
8Party Politics and the Suburbs116
9Prospects for the Future136
App: Tables143
Bibliography173
Index185

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