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suburban history



  • Republicans Can Thank Suburban New Yorkers for House Majority

    by Stacie Taranto

    The volatile politics of New York's downstate suburbs trace back to the settlement of massive suburban tracts outside the city after World War II, which created a large constituency of homeowners concerned with "law and order." 



  • What American Dream did Asian Immigrants Find in the Southern California Suburbs?

    by James Zarsadiaz

    Asian-American suburbs grew east of Los Angeles in part because developers catered to a growing market and in part because Asian Americans embraced some of the anti-urban tropes common in postwar America. Today conflict still surrounds how much diversity the suburban ideal can accommodate.



  • The Suburban Strategy

    Novelist Zinzi Clemmons looks to the history of Delaware County, Pennsylvania to consider, with help from historian Lara Putnam, the implications of Democrats' pursuit of the elusive suburban voter. 



  • How New York’s Suburbs Got So Segregated

    by Alan J. Singer

    The builders of Long Island's mass postwar suburbs chose not to challenge existing patterns of segregation, with consequences for communities and individuals today. 



  • The Housing Market is Booming but Remains Deeply Unequal

    by LaDale Winling

    The standards and practices of real estate appraisal were developed in the context of white supremacy in the 1920s and since then have worked to make home ownership a path toward building wealth that has favored white Americans. 



  • How White Americans’ Refusal to Accept Busing has Kept Schools Segregated

    by Matthew D. Lassiter

    The legal distinction between "de facto" and "de jure" segregation has always been a convenient fiction allowing the perpetuation of segregation by obscuring the role of government in creating and sustaining a racially discriminatory housing market. 



  • The County Where Cops Call the Shots

    Aaron Bekemeyer's PhD dissertation research examines how police unions, like those in Suffolk County, NY, became powerful in the 20th Century. Jennifer Mittelstadt also comments on the exceptional status of police unions.



  • How Fear Took Over the American Suburbs

    Historian Kyle Riismandel's new book “Neighborhood of Fear” examines the cultivation of a white suburban culture of vigilantism and the political exploitation of fear of community change in the late 20th century. 



  • Stop Worrying About Upper-Class Suburbanites

    by Lily Geismer and Matthew Lassiter

    Two suburban historians argue that the changing demographics and political composition of American suburbs mean the Democrats' strategy of courting white moderates will foreclose building the ethnically and economically diverse coalition they need to win. 



  • How Suburbs Swung the 2020 Election

    by Richard Florida, Marie Patino and Rachel Dottle

    The noted urban theorist points out that assumptions about suburban voters haven't kept up with the changing demographic realities of America's suburbs, which house a majority of the population and differ from each other as much as they do from central cities. 



  • Georgia’s Political Shift – a Tale of Urban and Suburban Change

    by Jan Nijman

    If Georgia is demographically and politically becoming unlike neighboring Republican strongholds like Alabama and Tennessee, it has, in some respects, moved in a similar direction as Arizona, where the two major metropolitan regions of Phoenix and Tucson make up over 80% of the state’s population, and where Democrats have improved their standing in recent years.



  • Pittsburgh's Suburbs Try to De-Karen the 2020 Election

    by Brentin Mock

    White suburban women have been important liberal activists since Trump's election, but still face difficulty in creating coalitions with communities of color in metro areas like Pittsburgh where segregation and inequality are rampant.