Sociology

How Suburbs Changed the United States



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Money! Money! Money! The 1950's theme was to acquire money, buy a house, and move to the suburbs. It was quite the rage.
The dream of the white picket fence, the large back yard in the home away from the city offered huge appeal for the family.
There were countless benefits to moving to suburbia, and some drawbacks, but regardless of perspective, suburbs changed American culture in countless ways, for better, and for worse.

Suburbs changed the American family, as children moved away from the inner city, away from extended family support in search of the quiet tree lined streets, and white picket fences. Families had to travel further to visit one another, all of which contributed to the family becoming more disengaged from each other. No longer could you visit Mom or Dad by walking down the street and visiting, you needed to travel distances to visit family members.

Life in the suburbs generated shifts away from downtown shopping, and people traveled further to shop for clothing, and luxuries found downtown. Downtowns began changing as people moved away from the hustle and bustle of the city life and entered the suburban neighborhood. Downtowns were replaced by the mall. Shopping centers formed in communities away from downtown, and the mall became the new center for consumption.

Competition increased between families. The idea of living up to the "Jones" became commonplace. If your neighbor had a finely manicured lawn, you needed one as well.

Gasoline consumption increased, as did prices, as people traveled further to shop, visit and play. As prices of gasoline continue to increase, people are now beginning to return to the city life, and move away from suburbia.

Suburbia generated changes in home, family and entertainment. These changes have impacted the family in profound ways.

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More about this author: Tammy Stoner

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