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« Do Influentials Really Influence Anybody? | Main | What is Community?, #7 »

February 01, 2007


Matty OC

This is a special topic that I have followed for some time now. My interest in it was sparked by early conversations about the "traditional" American neighborhood and the fact that my parents are part of the "GI Generation." Their take on current ideas of "community," "place-making," and "habitat" are very different from those my age, or Gen-Xers. I find Henry Beers comments interesting because affluence, in my parents ideology, leads to greater interdependence, because affluent society can afford to pay others to cook for them, raise their children, build their home. I by no means intend this to reflect negatively upon affluent society. It is the nature of the beast. Less affluent people, much like my grandfather, were more dependent primarily due to his lack of financial means. He had a small garden, was a skilled woodworker and electrician, and could do many repairs on his own vehicle.
The authors of "Suburban Nation" hit on this topic and use it to build their argument for breaking down the economic barriers, and stigmas, in housing developments. If the highly respected professor interacts regularly with the single working mother that lives nearby, co-respect and admiration is fostered.
I think it is very important to keep in mind that, as we become more and more specialized personally and culturally, we become more dependent on each other for unique skill sets. This appreciation sets a very good foundation for stable community.

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