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Viewpoint: Why are suburbs seen as boring?
We all know what suburbia is, indeed the majority of us live in it. Yet, despite this ubituity, with no formal definition of the contept, the suburbs have developed in our collective imagination through representations in popular culture, from Terry and June to Desparate Housewives. Rupa Huq examines how suburbia has been depicted in novels, cinema, popular music and on tel We all know what suburbia is, indeed the majority of us live in it. Rupa Huq examines how suburbia has been depicted in novels, cinema, popular music and on television, charting changing trends both in the suburbs and popular media consumption and production.
Making sense of suburbia through popular culture - University of Missouri-Kansas City
She looks at the differences in defining suburbia in the US and UK and how characteristics associated with it have shifted in meaning and form. Paperback , pages. Published August 15th by Bloomsbury Academic first published July 1st To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
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Table of contents
Stubbart is writing about New York, by the way, a place where average apartment rent is now three times the national average in the US and where homelessness is exploding to record levels in spite of national trends being in decline. This challenges another aspect of suburban dread.
And with the collapse of old forms of political engagement, obsessively wondering about and misunderstanding the views of those in the suburbs has become a preoccupation for the political class. Stubbart believes she is exposed to a carnival of people from all walks of life in New York, but like other big cities facing housing affordability crises, what she may increasingly find are people exactly like her.
For the inner city, the suburbs still symbolise isolation and a stupefying level of social convention; they are places to imprison women in their own homes and keep social change at bay.
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And yet, popular culture depictions of Australia continue to accentuate an image of the suburban environment as bordering on sociopathic, such is the imagined failure of community in these environments. Either that, or the suburbs are seen as a tasteless mass devoid of critical thought - entirely unaware of the irony in kitsch.
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Inner city streets are charmingly frenetic and layered, but there is no less character in suburban streets. The explosion of interest in garden design here can suggest competitiveness and materialism in Australia, but viewed through another lens it implies a flourishing of individuality and creativity.
Every house makes its own statement. Some yards are scattered with broken toys and outdoor furniture, others with shady trees and BBQs.