The Levittowners

Ways of Life and Politics in a New Suburban Community

Herbert J. Gans. Foreword by Harvey Molotch

Columbia University Press

The Levittowners

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Pub Date: March 2017

ISBN: 9780231178877

528 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $35.00

Pub Date: December 1982

ISBN: 9780231055710

528 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $35.00

Pub Date: March 2017

ISBN: 9780231542647

528 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $34.99

The Levittowners

Ways of Life and Politics in a New Suburban Community

Herbert J. Gans. Foreword by Harvey Molotch

Columbia University Press

In 1955, Levitt and Sons purchased most of Willingboro Township, New Jersey and built 11,000 homes. This, their third Levittown, became the site of one of urban sociology's most famous community studies, Herbert J. Gans's The Levittowners. The product of two years of living in Levittown, the work chronicles the invention of a new community and its major institutions, the beginnings of social and political life, and the former city residents' adaptation to suburban living. Gans uses his research to reject the charge that suburbs are sterile and pathological. First published in 1967, The Levittowners is a classic of participant-observer ethnography that also paints a sensitive portrait of working-class and lower-middle-class life in America. This new edition features a foreword by Harvey Molotch that reflects on Gans's challenges to conventional wisdom.
List of Tables
Foreword, by Harvey Molotch
Preface to the Morningside Edition
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Setting, Theory, and Method of the Study
Part 1: The Origin of a Community
1. The Planners of Levittown
2. The Levittowners—and Why They Came
3. The Beginnings of Group Life
4. The Founding of Churches
5. The New School System
6. The Emergence of Party Politics
7. The Origin of a Community
Part 2: The Quality of Suburban Life
8. Social Life: Suburban Homogeneity and Conformity
9. The Vitality of Community Culture
10. Family and Individual Adaptation
11. The Impact of the Community
Part 3: The Democracy of Politics
12. Political Communication
13. The Decision-making Process
14. Politics and Planning
15. Levittown and America
Appendix: The Methods of the Study
References
Index

About the Author

Herbert J. Gans is professor of sociology emeritus at Columbia University. His many books include Imagining America in 2033 (2008), Deciding What's News (1979), and The Urban Villagers (1962).