Download Landscapes of Privilege: The Politics of the Aesthetic in an by Nancy Duncan PDF

By Nancy Duncan

James and Nancy Duncan examine how the aesthetics of actual landscapes are totally enmeshed in generating the yankee category process. concentrating on an archetypal top category American suburb-Bedford in Westchester County, NY-they convey how the actual presentation of a spot consists of with it more than a few markers of inclusion and exclusion.

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Extra info for Landscapes of Privilege: The Politics of the Aesthetic in an American Suburb

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We wish to avoid separating aesthetics from issues of social justice and the danger of alienated complicity that comes with sharing in an unproblematized aesthetic attitude toward beautiful landscapes such as the rolling green hills of Bedford. The beauty of such landscapes obscures the exclusion as well as the exploitation that produces them. Mitchell (1996a) provides a similar example in which the beauty of California’s San Joachim Valley belies the struggle and exploitation that constitutes its landscape.

It remained in his family until the 1950s when it became a New York State historic site. Bedford continued to be a large and politically important town within the county until after the middle of the nineteenth century. In 1840, its population of 2,822 placed it second to Yonkers whose population had grown to 2,969. White Plains, the other county seat, had a population at the time of 1,087. With migration out of New York City facilitated by the coming of the railroad in the 1840s, the Landscapes of privilege 22 balance of population began to shift away from Bedford toward the southern part of the county.

As we show in Chapter Eight, the demand for gardeners and cleaners, restaurant employees, and various unskilled and semi-skilled laborers, as well as lowwaged clerks and casual flexible labor is bringing new immigrants, especially Latinos, into northern Westchester. The subsequent pressure on the lowest end of the housing market has resulted in their exploitation by the owners of the relatively small number of rental housing units as well as some cases of homelessness. What are seen as urban problems in the suburbs are very distressing to those longtime residents used to enjoying their painless white privilege 2 without visual reminders of poverty.

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