Stigma and the U.S. suburbs

Authored by: Whitney Airgood-Obrycki , Cody R. Price

The Routledge Companion to the Suburbs

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138290235
eBook ISBN: 9781315266442
Adobe ISBN:


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In this chapter, we document the ways in which factors such as poverty, long-term disinvestment, crises, and catastrophic events led to the decentralization of urban stigmas into suburban space. Territorial stigma, previously a problem solely for inner-city neighborhoods in the United States, has spread to suburban communities that have experienced signs of racial and social transition, disruptive events such as rioting, and crises including the recent rise in foreclosures. Suburbs, once mythically viewed as white, wealthy havens separate from the social ills of the city, are increasingly susceptible to negative perceptions, stereotypes, and social and territorial stigma. We argue that suburbs that become stigmatized will most likely stay stigmatized.

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