• 276 pages
  • 6 x 9
  • 7 tables, 12 figures, 30 halftones
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  • EAN: 9781439910504
  • Publication: May 2013
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Social Justice in Diverse Suburbs

History, Politics, and Prospects

Edited by Christopher Niedt

American suburbs have been seen as both exclusive idylls for elites as well as crucibles for new ideologies of gender, class, race, and property. But few have considered what the growing diversity of suburban America has meant for progressive social, economic, and political justice movements. Social Justice in Diverse Suburbs is a pioneering and multidisciplinary volume that reassesses commonplace understandings of suburban activism.

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.

Reviews

"Social Justice in Diverse Suburbs addresses the history and evolution of suburbs, suburban racial and ethnic discrimination and efforts to combat it, metropolitan sprawl, differentiation among suburbs, and the emerging problems of the inner suburbs. Niedt’s excellent introduction covers several engaging and interesting stories of organizing and conflict, and the essays illustrate the changing diversity of suburbs—from Latino issues, which deserve more attention, to resistance to housing mobility for the poor amidst the foreclosure crisis. This book makes a valuable contribution to the literature on suburbs."
W. Dennis Keating, Professor of Urban Studies at Cleveland State University

"Social Justice in Diverse Suburbs is a welcome addition to the scholarship on suburbia, both historical and contemporary. It builds upon a growing literature that moves beyond conventional portrayals of suburbia as places of middle-class white homeowners and conservative politics, to show the suburbs as places of diverse environments, peoples, and politics. This volume provides a rich variety of case studies to document multiple political trajectories in suburbia, including progressive and left-of-center efforts, and in so doing forces a re-thinking of the nature of suburban political culture. Collectively, the articles build a powerful argument that a homogenous conceptualization of suburbia and suburban political culture ought to be put to rest, once and for all."
Becky Nicolaides, Research Scholar at the UCLA Center for the Studies of Women and author of My Blue Heaven: Life and Politics in the Working-Class Suburbs of Los Angeles, 1920-1965

"(A) comprehensive multidisciplinary view of modern suburbs in America. Christopher Niedt has assembled essays from historians, social psychologists, sociologists, and demographers, in order to investigate how political and social action arises and is organized in suburban locations. From issues of suburban space use to immigrant incorporation, the authors use both historic and contemporary examples to outline how residents unite to address distinct issues faced by suburbanites.... This collection of essays will be of particular interest to researchers in the fields of urban studies and spatial demography, as many focus on the particular use of space within suburban environments, as well as the distinctions which set suburbs apart from cities as a unique spatial environment."
Contemporary Sociology

"(T)his edited volume offer(s) both historians and planners new ways to think about suburbs. For planners, the book serves as an activist handbook, combining historical examples, contemporary data, and policy proposals into a concise and accessible volume. For historians, the book pushes the historiography beyond any monolithic view of suburbs, presenting the urban fringe in all its complexity.... Taken together, the book is an engaging collection of papers that complement one another, an impressive feat."
Journal of Planning Education and Research

About the Author(s)

Christopher Niedt is Academic Director for the National Center for Suburban Studies and Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Hofstra University. He is co-editor (with Marc Silver) of Forging a New Housing Policy: Opportunity in the Wake of Crisis.