Bourgeois Utopias: The Rise And Fall Of Suburbia by Robert Fishman

By Robert Fishman

A famous city historian strains the tale of the suburb from its origins in nineteenth-century London to its twentieth-century death in decentralized towns like l. a..

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Extra resources for Bourgeois Utopias: The Rise And Fall Of Suburbia

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As personal-stereo users traverse the public spaces of the city they often describe the experience in terms of never leaving ‘home’, understood either symbolically or sometimes literally. The aim here is not to reach outwards into a form of ‘we-ness’ but rather to negate distance enabling the user to maintain a desired sense of security. Using a personal stereo is often described in terms of a feeling of being surrounded or enveloped. This is what users frequently mean when they refer to feelings of being at ‘home’.

Ben: interview number 41) This description of being rooted to the spot is not based on fear but represents the difficulty experienced of switching into an appropriate 24 Sounding out the City mode of response whilst having a private experiential world still in operation. The movement from private experience to appropriate social action is often achieved with difficulty. Users often describe having to switch off their personal stereos before responding adequately. Personal-stereo users like to construct familiar soundscapes to accompany them through their urban journeys.

Indeed personal stereos are sometimes used as a strategy to transcend the gendered nature of urban space thus potentially empowering women, enabling them to control space and vision more successfully. 28 Sounding out the City Equally, a subcultural use of personal stereos might focus upon specific types of music used in relation to fashion and social activities whereas a phenomenologically orientated interpretation situates interest in the mere fact that music is listened to in certain everyday situations.

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