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Making the San Fernando Valley: Rural Landscapes, Urban Development, and White Privilege (Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation)


Making the San Fernando Valley: Rural Landscapes, Urban Development, and White Privilege (Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In the first book-length scholarly study of the San Fernando Valley—home to one-third of the population of Los Angeles—Laura R. Barraclough combines ambitious historical sweep with an on-theground investigation of contemporary life in this iconic western suburb. She is particularly intrigued by the Valley’s many rural elements, such as dirt roads, tack-and-feed stores, horse-keeping districts, citrus groves, and movie ranches. Far from natural or undeveloped spaces, these rural characteristics are, she shows, the result of deliberate urbanplanning decisions that have shaped the Valley over the course of more than a hundred years.
The Valley’s entwined history of urban development and rural preservation has real ramifications today for patterns of racial and class inequality and especially for the evolving meaning of whiteness. Immersing herself in meetings of homeowners’ associations, equestrian organizations, and redistricting committees, Barraclough uncovers the racial biases embedded in rhetoric about “open space” and “western heritage.” The Valley’s urban cowboys enjoy exclusive, semirural landscapes alongside the opportunities afforded by one of the world’s largest cities. Despite this enviable position, they have at their disposal powerful articulations of both white victimization and, with little contradiction, color-blind politics.


About the Author

Laura R. Barraclough is an assistant professor of sociology at Kalamazoo College. She is a native of the San Fernando Valley and received degrees from the University of Southern California and the University of California San Diego.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

part one Creating the Foundations of Rural Whiteness, 1900–1960

1 Creating Whiteness through Gentleman Farming 25

2 Narrating Conquest in Local History 61

3 Producing Western Heritage in the Postwar Suburb 85

part two Consolidating Rural Whiteness, 1960–2000

4 Protecting Rurality through Horse-Keeping in

the Northeast Valley 117

5 Linking Western Heritage and Environmental Justice

in the West Valley 147

part three Rural Whiteness in the Twenty-first Century

6 Urban Restructuring and the Consolidation

of Rural Whiteness 185

7 Beliefs about Landscape, Anxieties about Change 205

8 “Rural Culture” and the Politics of Multiculturalism 231

Conclusion 264

Notes 271

Bibliography 299

Index 311

Product Details

Barraclough, Laura R.
University of Georgia Press
San Fernando Valley (Calif.) - Race relations
Whites - California - San Fernando Valley -
Human Geography
Sociology - Urban
Public Policy - City Planning & Urban Dev.
Sociology - General
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation
Publication Date:
10 bandw photos, 3 maps
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Urban Studies » City Specific
History and Social Science » Sociology » Urban Studies » General

Making the San Fernando Valley: Rural Landscapes, Urban Development, and White Privilege (Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation) New Hardcover
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Product details 316 pages University of Georgia Press - English 9780820335629 Reviews:
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