Sprawl, Justice, and Citizenship

Sprawl, Justice, and Citizenship : The Civic Costs of the American Way of Life

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Description

Must the strip mall and the eight-lane highway define 21st century American life? That is a central question posed by critics of suburban and exurban living in America. Yet despite the ubiquity of the critique, it never sticks-Americans by the scores of millions have willingly moved into sprawling developments over the past few decades. Americans find many of the more substantial criticisms of sprawl easy to ignore because they often come across as snobbish in tone. Yet as Thad Williamson explains, sprawl does create real, measurable social problems. Williamson's work is unique in two important ways. First, while he highlights the deleterious effects of sprawl on civic life in America, he is also evenhanded. He does not dismiss the pastoral, homeowning ideal that is at the root of sprawl, and is sympathetic to the vast numbers of Americans who very clearly prefer it. Secondly, his critique is neither aesthetic nor moralistic in tone, but based on social science. Utilizing a landmark 30,000-person survey, he shows that sprawl fosters civic disengagement, diminishes social trust, accentuates inequality, and negatively impacts the environment. Sprawl, Justice, and Citizenship will not only be the most comprehensive work in print on the subject, it will be the first to offer a empirically rigorous critique of the most popular form of living in America today.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 416 pages
  • 156 x 238 x 34mm | 739.35g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195369432
  • 9780195369434
  • 2,006,997

Review quote

Williamson combines a rich comparative discussion of these three strands of normative political theory with empirical data... and has given us an important and thorough assessment of the 'core values at stake in the debate' (p. 10) about sprawl and urban form. * Political Science Quarterly * Thad Williamson's book analyzing urban sprawl is a triumph of content over form. The book is unusual... A definitive analysis of sprawl that should be widely read by urbanists of all stripes. * Contemporary Sociology * A timely, novel study of sprawl and its multifaceted impacts on society...This work is an especially important and welcome contribution to the literature on sprawl because it eloquently makes the connection among sprawl, liberal egalitarianism, and civic participation in ways not previously seen. Without a doubt, Williamson has provided one of the most provocative and balanced works on sprawl to date. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readership levels. * CHOICE *show more

About Thad Williamson

Thad Williamson is Assistant Professor of Leadership Studies and Political Science, University of Richmond; co-winner of the American Political Science Association's Harold Lasswell Award for best dissertation in public policy, 2004; lead co-author of Making a Place for Community (Routledge, 2002).show more

Table of contents

NOTES FOR CHAPTER ONE; NOTES FOR CHAPTER TWO; NOTES FOR CHAPTER THREE; NOTES FOR CHAPTER FOUR; NOTES FOR CHAPTER FIVE; LIBERAL VIRTUE, AND SOCIAL SOLIDARITY; NOTES FOR CHAPTER SIX; CITIZENSHIP; NOTES FOR CHAPTER SEVEN; DISENGAGEMENT; NOTES FOR CHAPTER EIGHT; NOTES FOR CHAPTER NINE; NOTES FOR CHAPTER TEN; APPENDICES; BIBLIOGRAPHY; INDEXshow more

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