Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Harvesting suburbs: Recalling the suburban side of California's agricultural colonization
by Sandul, Paul Jason Prescott, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, 2009, 550; 3371681
Abstract (Summary)

“Harvesting Suburbs” attempts to provide an understanding that agricultural communities in California represent a unique rural suburban type labeled here as “agriburbs.” Such an understanding deepens an appreciation for both the growth and development of California in general at the turn of the twentieth century and the diversity of suburban types across the American landscape. Moreover, by reviewing historical narratives concerning agriburban areas, one can reach a better understanding of the dynamics at play working to divert attention from the suburban side of agriburban areas’ origins. Put differently, “Harvesting Suburbs” seeks to explain what an agriburb is and why historians and others have failed to identify an agriburb. Parallels are hence drawn between the suburban ideal and the California dream to show how they largely mirrored each other. The suburban side of three case study sites (Ontario, Orangevale, and Fair Oaks) is then furnished to specify better what made California’s “agricultural colonies” agriburbs. Finally, early promotional efforts concerning agriburbs reveal how a master historical narrative about each of these communities largely contributes to diverting attention from their suburban origins. Examining a metanarrative also exposes much about the nature of public memory in agriburban communities. It shows the importance and lasting influence of older historical narratives and other public representations of the past on present-day historical narratives and public representations of the past.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Simpson, Lee M. A.
Commitee: Bergstrom, Randolph, Castaneda, Christopher J., Hancock, Mary
School: University of California, Santa Barbara
Department: History
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 70/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: American history, Agriculture
Keywords: Agriculture, California, Memory, Narrative, Public history, Suburbs
Publication Number: 3371681
ISBN: 978-1-109-32990-2
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