The New Suburbia: How Diversity Remade Suburban Life in Los Angeles After 1945 (Hardcover)

The New Suburbia: How Diversity Remade Suburban Life in Los Angeles After 1945 By Becky M. Nicolaides Cover Image
Not On Our Shelves Now (Usually Ships in 1-5 Days)


America's suburbs have been transforming. The conventional story of suburbs as bastions of white, middle-class homeowners no longer describes the suburbs of America's cities. Today they house a more typical cross-section of the nation--rich, poor, Black American, Latino, Asian, immigrant, the unhoused, the lavishly housed, and everyone in between. Stories of everyday suburban life, in the process, have taken on new inflections.

Nowhere are these changes more vivid than in Los Angeles. In this suburban metropolis and global powerhouse, lily white suburbs have virtually disappeared, and over two-thirds of the County's suburbs have become majority minority. Examining this vanguard of change from the postwar to the present, The New Suburbia follows the Asian Americans, Black Americans, and Latinos who moved into white neighborhoods that once barred them. They bought homes, enrolled their children in schools, and began navigating suburban life. They faced a choice: would they remake the suburbs, or would the suburbs remake them? In places like Pasadena, San Marino, South Gate, and Lakewood, suburbanites faced the challenges of living together in difference. Historian Becky Nicolaides explores a range of community experiences, from internal resegregation to suburban poverty, an embrace of law-and-order culture to police brutality, friendly neighbors to social withdrawal. In some communities, diverse residents continued longstanding habits of exclusion and perpetuated metropolitan inequality. In others, they embraced more inclusive, multicultural suburban ideals. Through it all, the common denominators of suburbia remained--low-slung landscapes of single-family homes and families seeking the good life.

An authoritative work based on a half-century of quantitative data and unpublished oral histories and interviews, The New Suburbia explores vital landscapes where the American dream has endured, even as the dreamers have changed.

About the Author

Becky M. Nicolaides is a research affiliate at the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West. She is the author of My Blue Heaven: Life and Politics in the Working-Class Suburbs of Los Angeles, 1920-1965 and the co-editor of The Suburb Reader. She has served on the LA Mayor's Office Civic Memory Working Group and is a lifelong Angeleno.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780197578308
ISBN-10: 0197578306
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication Date: January 5th, 2024
Pages: 576
Language: English