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Suburbia

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The term suburbia is frequently used to encapsulate the concept of suburbs as oddly picturesque slices of tract-home nuclear family life that harbour forces destructive of natural human impulses towards true community and concerns of communal welfare.

Given the de facto segregation of the American housing marketplace in the 1950s through 1970s, 'suburbia' also includes the notion of a 'white' area, inaccessible to members of other ethnicities and races, particularly African-Americans.

After the rise of "Levittowns" across the United States in the 1960s and 1970s, many American teens born during those decades began to understand the inherently sanitized and disspiriting nature of American suburbs.

The concept of 'suburbia' came to envelop this and other, sometimes endearing, idiosyncrasies of suburban life--for example, 4th of July backyard barbecues.

Popular culture largely recognized this concept during the 1980s and early 1990s. In Britain, television series such as The Good Life, Butterflies, and The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin depicted suburbia as well-manicured but relentlessly boring, and its residents as either conforming their behaviour to this situation or going stir-crazy through its regimented blandness. In America, similar but more violent themes could be found in the works of David Lynch.

Musicians, too, picked up on the idea of suburbia for subject matter, with songs such as "Suburbia" by the Pet Shop Boys, and "Christmas in Suburbia" by Martin Newell, as examples. Also the song called "Jesus of Suburbia" by Green Day.

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