Vectors of Privilege: The Material Culture of White Flight

Author(s): Christopher Matthews

Year: 2016


The achievement gap, "failing" schools, re-segregation and blight, while often seen as problems and signs of people of color in the US, are better understood as the results of modern efforts to enforce white privilege. Thus, as historical research on the building and renewal of American cities proceeds, we need to pay attention to how policies and practices supporting racial advantage were put in place and made material on the landscape. The urban and suburban northeast is an especially good place to study this issue since the relationship between cities and suburbs and even between suburbs themselves has been especially conflicted. One aspect of this conflict has been the process of white flight from the cities after WWII. This paper will examine the material culture of white flight in northern New Jersey with a special focus on the impact of Interstate 280 in Orange, NJ.

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Vectors of Privilege: The Material Culture of White Flight. Christopher Matthews. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434317)

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Temporal Keywords
20th Century

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 25