Abstract

The impression of journalists and social critics in the 1950’s that post-war suburbia was uniformly middle-class has been generally rejected by social scientists, but there is a persisting belief in a high degree of residential segregation by social level in suburbia and in a high degree of socio-economic homogeneity within suburban neighborhoods. A comparison of eight central cities with their suburban zones in 1950 and in 1960 revealed, for both dates, (a) small differences in occupational distributions between the central cities and the suburban zones and (b) generally higher Index of Residential Dissimilarity values for pairs of occupational groups in the central cities. These findings indicate that suburban neighborhoods, at least in the eight suburban zones studied, were little, if any, more occupationally homogeneous than the central city neighborhoods. This suggests that the belief in homogeneous suburban neighborhoods should be added to the growing list of discredited “myths of suburbia. ”

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