American Studies | U.S. Movements and Institutions/The American Suburbs
A201 | 1051 | Staff
3 credit hours A & H Credit
The United States is officially a suburban nation. The 2000 U.S.
Census reported that slightly more than half of the nation's
residents live in the suburbs.
The suburban phenomenon has revolutionized American politics, family
life, work, leisure, transportation, schooling, and race relations.
The suburbs have also captured the American imagination. Novelists,
filmmakers, songwriters, and TV producers have painted visions of
what suburbia is and what it should be. We have seen portrayals of
suburbia in the TV shows The Wonder Years, The Sopranos, and Weeds,
and in films such as American Beauty and the Truman Show.
In this class, we will examine historical documents, advertisements,
newspaper articles, and radio programs; commentary and
interpretation by historians, sociologists, and cultural critics;
and novels, photographs, films, TV programs, and popular songs. We
will explore how the suburbs came to be, what their impact has been,
how they are imagined, and where they are going.