Social Justice in Diverse Suburbs
History, Politics, and Prospects
Publication Year: 2013
Editor Christopher Niedt and his contributors shed light on organizing and conflict in the suburbs with historical and contemporary case studies. Chapters address topical issues ranging from how suburbanites actively fought school segregation to industrial pollution and displacement along the suburban-rural fringe. Social Justice in Diverse Suburbs also considers struggles for integration and environmental justice as well as efforts to preserve suburban history and organize immigrant communities.
Contributors include: Douglas R. Appler, Aaron Cavin, Nancy A. Denton, Lisa Feldstein, Casey Gallagher, Anne Galletta, Joseph Gibbons, Robert Gioielli, Lucas Owen Kirkpatrick, JoAnna Mitchell-Brown, Manuel Pastor, john a. powell, Jason Reece, Alex Schafran, June Williamson, and the editor.
Published by: Temple University Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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1. Introduction - Christopher Niedt
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Since their emergence, the U.S. suburbs have been many things to their boosters and critics—exclusive idylls for the elite, sites of production and labor repression, spaces of unrestricted expansion for working-class home-steaders and postwar developers, benefi ciaries of federal largesse, and crucibles for new ideologies of gender, class, race, and property. But however imagined and reimagined, the suburbs have seldom been seen as seedbeds for progressive social and political movements. In popular media and academic literature, nar-...
Part I. Race, Class, and Exclusion in the Twenty-First Century
2. Twenty-First-Century Suburban Demography: Increasing Diversity Yet Lingering Exclusion - Nancy A. Denton and Joseph R. Gibbons
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...“Suburbs” and “suburban” may be among the most oft en-used words with contested meanings. And they do get used: A Google search on “suburbs” fi nds 27,700,000 entries, while “suburban” yields 38,700,000. Everyone thinks they know what these words mean, despite little agreement on their formal defi nition. For many people, they evoke a mental image or “hidden frame”—for example, single-family detached houses with white picket fences—although the contents of that image may vary greatly based on where the people live or grew ...
3. The Suburban Geography of Moral Panic: Low-Income Housing and the Revanchist Fringe - L. Owen Kirkpatrick and Casey Gallagher
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One of the defi ning characteristics of the post-Fordist, neoliberal era (1970–present) in the United States is the hypersegregation of poor, minority households in the central city (Wilson 1997). Intensifi ed patterns of un-even economic development, pervasive systems of surveillance and control, and an unrelenting “territorial stigmatization” have combined to transform the inner city into “an instrument for the virtual imprisonment” of poor, African Ameri-can communities (Wacquant 2007). Without question, the relationship between ...
4. Protest on the Astroturf at Downtown Silver Spring: July 4, 2007 - June Williamson
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Many urbanists who argue for defending “authentic” public space in the city against suburbanization—associated with retail chains, large devel-opers, and the tastes of middle-class white people—point to suburban shopping malls and strip centers as a major culprit in the city’s woes. In the early twenty-fi rst century, however, enclosed regional malls are in marked decay. Some dead and dying malls have been retrofi tted, via adaptive reuse or demo-lition and redevelopment, into new uses and forms. Many retrofi ts are imple-...
Part II. Revealing Activist Histories
5. “In the Spirit of Equality”: Conflict, Dissonance, and the Potential for Transformative Educational Change - Anne Galletta
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This chapter explores the history of school desegregation in Shaker Heights, Ohio, an inner-ring suburban school district bordering the city of Cleve-land. During particular periods of community confl ict and institutional unease, parents, students, and educators pressed their school district to attend to racial isolation and inequality of opportunity and outcomes for African Ameri-can students. Additionally, student narratives of psychological dissonance raised questions about the role of the institution and the broader social context contrib-...
6. Not Quite Suburban: Progressive Activism in Postwar Chicago - Robert Gioielli
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In Chicago, a city of neighborhoods, Garfi eld Ridge does not stand out. Many of Chicago’s neighborhoods have gone down in local or national lore for their architecture, famous residents, or even their criminal notoriety. But Garfi eld Ridge is a nondescript trapezoid of a bedroom community, right on the edge of the city, near the beginning of the suburbs, bordering one of the world’s most gloriously named urban streams, the Chicago Sanitary and Shipping Canal. However, it is this very spot, on the border between the city and the suburbs, ...
7. Fringe Politics: Suburban Expansion and the Mexican American Struggle for Alviso, California - Aaron Cavin
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Before World War II, Mexican Americans in the Santa Clara Valley of Cali-fornia lived in scattered communities, working in the rich agricultural fi elds. Th ose fi elds, however, transformed into the postwar suburbs as develop-ment wiped out the valley’s Mexican American communities. “Th ere’s only one exception to that story,” recalled Ernesto Galarza, the farm labor organizer, Chi-cano activist, and scholar who lived and worked in the valley. Th at exception was Alviso, a working-class and agricultural town bordering San José. In the 1960s ...
Part III. Sustaining Social Justice in the Diverse Suburb
8. Maywood, Not Mayberry: Latinos and Suburbia in Los Angeles County - Manuel Pastor
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When one imagines suburbia, images of single-family houses, white faces, and placid politics come to mind. Although one might argue that this image was never quite the case, it certainly is true that much has changed in the years since the postwar suburban landscape was created, codifi ed, and con-stituted by mortgage-interest subsidies, highway expansion, and racially restric-tive covenants. For example, the demographics of the suburbs adjoining Amer-ica’s one-hundred largest metros now mirror those of the nation as a whole, with ...
9. Black, Brown, White, and Green: Race, Land Use, and Environmental Politics in a Changing Richmond - Alex Schafran and Lisa M. Feldstein
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In November 2006, Gayle McLaughlin, a white Green Party member, defeated incumbent Irma Anderson, an African American and registered Democrat, in the mayoral election of Richmond, California. Although technically nonparti-san, her election was notable in part because it made Richmond the largest city in the country with a Green Party mayor, and because it marked the fi rst may-oral election of a Green Party member in a city without a white majority (Hall 2006). Two years later, in the same election where Barack Obama became the ...
10. Public Archaeology and Sense of Place in Alexandria, Virginia: An Exploration of the Changing Significance of Fort Ward Park - Douglas R. Appler
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The passage of time can have a strong infl uence on the meaning that people attach to a particular location. As years pass and certain historical themes are seen by a larger number of people to be relevant to events in the pres-ent, the sites associated with those themes gain a higher public profi le. Th is change can raise questions about how diff erent events should be recognized and incorporated into the existing local historical narrative, particularly on sites that already possess strong, widely recognized historical identities. Responding to ...
11. First Suburbs and Nonprofit Housing: How Do Urban CDCs Develop Affordable Housing in Suburban Communities? - JoAnna Mitchell-Brown
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First suburbs in the United States, older suburbs that experienced the bulk of their growth before 1960, currently face a host of problems conventionally associated with urban areas. Over the last several decades, problems associ-ated with declining business districts, aging infrastructure, crime, obsolescent housing stock, population loss, and concentrations of high-needs populations have become prevalent in fi rst suburban neighborhoods. Th e recognition of housing problems in the fi rst suburbs has given rise to a new suburban role for ...
12. The Future of Fair Housing in a Diverse Suburbia - John A. Powell and Jason Reece
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Suburbs in the United States have long been associated with homogeneity, from their physical form to their demographics. Th e earliest suburbs date back to the late nineteenth century, but it was the post–World War II period of suburban growth that produced a dramatic reshaping of the metro-politan landscape and our perceptions of it. As new suburbs developed at an aggressive pace, uniformity and conformity came to defi ne mid-twentieth-During this time, mass-produced suburbs, such as Levittown in Long Island, ...
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Page Count: 252
Publication Year: 2013