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Becky Marianna Nicolaides
Unaffiliated Independent Scholar
Social and Civic Transformation in Suburban Los Angeles Since 1945

This study explores how the suburban environment has influenced social and civic engagement, through a historical analysis of Los Angeles suburbs since 1945. In recent years, a spate of studies has suggested that social capital has been in decline in America since the 1970s, with perilous consequences for American society and democracy. Suburban sprawl is often implicated in this decline. This project brings a historical perspective to questions of how suburban social and civic life has changed over time, why it has changed, and the implications for American social and political life. By investigating the history of several clusters of suburbs in Los Angeles, it explores the lived realities of community and civic life unfettered by the declension model. This study incorporates a fundamental recognition of suburban diversity in its framing and approach. It centers on questions of community and civic engagement because of their implications for the health of our democratic society.

[Grant products][Prizes]

Project fields:
U.S. History

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
2/1/2012 – 1/31/2013