On the Edge

On the Edge

The contested cultures of English suburbia

Author(s): 
Feb 2013
/
ISBN: 
9781907103728
/
224
pp
£16.00

In an analysis that ranges across gender, ethnicity, class, religion, and many other facets of culture, Huq presents a convincingly argues case for the need to radically rethink how the way we understand contemporary suburban life.

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Suburbs and the relationships that sustain them have been subject to tremendous changes in the last fifty years, with changing work patterns, changing family lives, changing patterns of home ownership and a massive shift in the structural relationships between inner cities and their surrounding urban environment. However,But this transformation has been largely overlooked, and the suburbs have lived on in the collective imagination as places that are homogenous and/or boring. But suburbs have always come in many shapes and sizes, and this book documents widely varying forms of suburban life to construct a compelling narrative of suburban diversity and variety. Huq’s in-depth and convincing analysis covers a range of aspects of suburbia, including gender, ethnicity, class, religion, lifestyle, consumerism, family life, gentrification, property relations, political representation, city life and globalisation. Huq Through these wide-ranging fields, she demonstrates conclusively that those who still fondly imagine the suburbs as the preserve of maiden aunts on bicycles, the domain of archetypal Englishness -– or less fondly as places of stifling conformism and stagnation -– are wide of the mark. In this sense, her re-imagining of the suburbs is also a re-imagining of Englishness.

Contents
Foreword
Introduction
1. Re-situating suburbia
2. Suburbia at the polls: the periphery as political centre of gravity
3. Alt. Suburbia: citizenship on the periphery
4. Faith in the suburbs: identity, interaction, belonging and belief
5. Consuming suburbia
6. Extremism in the suburbs
7. Suburbia in an age of insecurity: hard times on the edge?
Postscript: the grass on the other side

“A fascinating exploration of the complexity and diversity of contemporary suburban life. In challenging our view of the suburbs this book challenges our view of England - and in so doing disrupts mainstream political orthodoxy.”

Jon Cruddas

“An updated, nuanced and much needed picture of suburbia”

Joe Cox, Compass

“Huq seeks not just to resuscitate suburbia, but to rehabilitate it as a political concern of the left”

Tristram Hunt, MP, Progress Online

‘A cogent argument against political neglect of the suburbs’

Angel Dahouk, Morning Star

Also available:

Rupa Huq on BBC Radio 3, Night Waves

The next election will be won and lost in suburbia’: Interview with Rupa Huq on The Guardian Comment is Free.

‘Flight of the minorities: London’s soul is in its suburbs’, Article by Rupa Huq in The Guardian.