Suburban Century: Social Change and Urban Growth in England and the USA

Overview

Bad architecture. Soulless. Destructive of communities. The suburbs are much-maligned places. We see this time and again in films like American Beauty and novels like The Ice Storm. But are they really as homogenous and conservative as we think they are?

In this wide-ranging comparative study of England and the United States, Mark Clapson offers new interpretations on suburbia. The majority of people in both countries now live in suburbs, largely as a result of the rising ...

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Overview

Bad architecture. Soulless. Destructive of communities. The suburbs are much-maligned places. We see this time and again in films like American Beauty and novels like The Ice Storm. But are they really as homogenous and conservative as we think they are?

In this wide-ranging comparative study of England and the United States, Mark Clapson offers new interpretations on suburbia. The majority of people in both countries now live in suburbs, largely as a result of the rising affluence of the postwar period. Millions of Americans pursued an aspiration to settle away from the poorer town and city centres in new subdivisions, while in England people were keen to leave terraced streets and poorer suburban housing areas.

Examining housing policies, the politics of affluence and social class, Clapson challenges deeply held myths by demonstrating the complexity of suburban life. He shows how suburbs are becoming increasingly multicultural and compares the minority experience in both countries. He analyzes voting patterns to reveal some surprising political trends. In addition, he discusses gender and the experience of community life. Throughout, he uncovers the similarities and differences in the English and American experience of suburbanization in the twentieth century.

This is a timely and original account that looks beyond the stereotypes of life in the 'burbs.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781859736487
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 7/1/2003
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Clapson is a Visiting Research Fellow, at the University of Westminster, London.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Abbreviations
1 An Introduction to the Suburban Century 1
2 The City Spreads: Technological, Economic and Official Forces in Urban Dispersal 21
3 The Suburban Aspiration 51
4 Black Suburbanization 79
5 Jewish and Asian Suburbanization 107
6 Women and Suburban Sadness 125
7 Suburban Citizens: Community and Association in the New Housing Areas of the Twentieth Century 143
8 The Middle Way; Labour, the Democrats and the Suburbs since 1950 169
9 Past, Present and Future: Some Conclusions and Connections 191
Bibliography 199
Index 227
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