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SOCC27 LEC 5.docx

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Julian Tanner

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Suburban life brought many stereotypes high degree of conformity this view was prevalent in magazines, books, tvs, movies (desperate housewives, edward scissorhands, pleasantville) theres a element of striving and competing for social capital (car, house, lawn) writers, producers directors didnt live in the suburbs but lived in NY etc and looked down on suburbia was this a fair picture of what life in the suburbs was like? Had both elements of truth and exargeration notion of conformity was highly emphasized people striving for mobility and status and competing with others a lot of status that went on was not provoke by the nature of the suburbs but by the ecnomic system; the nature of the workplace. It was an era where a lot of people worked in big corporations and they were highly bureacracies (many different levels of management) and these corporations that imposed the high degree of conformity starting with the way you dress it was expected that these people who worked for them would lead a highly conforming life style which included living in the suburbs in some cases, the corporations even dictated which suburbs you could live in; when you got promoted, you could move to a higher status suburb personal profile: a wife and 2 kids; disadvantageous to be single for too long or being homosexual therefore it was the corporatiions that dictated the confirmity and you had to do this to advance also the notion physical wasnt good to be left in the same position for too long corporate policy to move you around every 2-3 years wouldnt let you stay anywhere for more then 5 years no time for the families to get adjusted famous book called the organization man suggesting that the first loyalty of midddle class managers was the corporation; their identity was ancored to the workplace depicted a specific group (baby boomer middle class) and a particular part of their life cycle (20-30's, had young kids) another stereotype: suburban mom with the SUV driving kids around number of reasons as to why people were so harsh on the suburban culture suburban middle class, were seen as turning their back on the city by escaping to the suburbs seen as taking no responsibilty for what was happening to the central city (eg poverty, crime, env damage) washing their hands of the fate of the city and just
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