Community Ideology and Identity in American Culture
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This book interprets popular American belief and sentiment about cities, suburbs, and small towns in terms of community ideologies. Based on in-depth interviews with residents of American communities, it shows how people construct a sense of identity based on their communities, and how they perceive and explain community problems (e. g., why cities have more crime than their suburban and rural counterparts) in terms of this identity.
Hummon reveals the changing role of place imagery in contemporary society and offers an interpretation of American culture by treating commonplaces of community belief in an uncommon way—as facets of competing community ideologies. He argues that by adopting such ideologies, people are able to "make sense" of reality and their place in the everyday world.
David M. Hummon is Associate Professor of Sociology at Holy Cross College.
"It provides people's views of other places—those where they are not. This is most important and has never been done before. Also, by looking at three environments, a much richer and more complex view is derived than from the more typical analysis of 'anti-urban tradition. ' The whole book deals with an 'unexpected' topic (although it should not be): the various ideals present in the U. S. that are reflected in people's residential choices and their evaluations of places. " — Amos Rapoport, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee