This Essay Is A Summary And Analysis Of Juliet Gainsborough's Book "Fenced Off: The Suburbanization Of American Politics." It Looks At Politics In The Suburbs. It Is Only A Summary Of Chapters 5 9.

2196 words - 9 pages

In the field of political science, many researchers seek to explain why certain events occur based on politics and people's relationship to it. In Fenced Off: The Suburbanization of American Politics Juliet Gainsborough argues that people who live in suburbia identify and vote with the Republican Party. Gainsborough relates suburban political concerns and behaviors with those of the city. In the first four chapters of the book Gainsborough seeks to lay out the thesis and all the ways in which she supports it. The last five chapters of the book furthers her thesis by breaking down suburbia into different variables (that will later be explored in this paper) and making comparisons between old and new suburbs and the city. The overall theme of the last five chapter is that PLACE MATTERS.One of the first distinctions of suburbia that Gainsborough makes is that an increased amount of people has reduced the interest in national politics and national issues. People are concerned with what is happening close to them. Gainsborough brought this point out earlier chapters and continues with it early into Chapter 5 through some of the remaining chapters. For example, in Chapter 5 Gainsborough brings up the topic of federal spending on public programs. She states that people in the suburbs will oppose federal spending if it deals with programs for the poor. Home ownership and people who are married with children were among those who favor federal public spending the least (Gainsborough 74). She cites Edsall and Edsall in stating that "suburbanites increasingly associate government spending and services with the idea of taking money from the middle class to help the undeserving poor" (Gainsborough 76). She brings up a point that is less evident but can be seen in regards to public spending; living in a suburb has a "significant relationship about spending on programs that assist blacks" (Gainsborough 74). Suburbanites will oppose federal spending unless it directly affects them; Social Security is one area of federal spending that affects suburbia. No matter how much suburbanites refuse to think of it, Social Security is a form of federal spending that directly touches their lives. If suburbia opposes federal spending on the public, then they are in turn hurting themselves. If federal public spending is taken away, then there will be no Social Security for the suburbs.Being concerned with policies such as federal spending is not the only point that Gainsborough makes in arguing her thesis. She focuses on the area of political preferences in suburbs. Focusing particularly on suburban politics from 1988 to 1992, Gainsborough says that two arguments are made about suburbia residents. The two arguments she makes are as follows:"...on the one hand, suburbs are so different from each other that generalizations about suburbs and suburbanites are meaningless; and on the other hand, that distinctive suburban politics is no more than the politics of the white middle...

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