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Placing identities: family, class and gender in Surrey, British Columbia Dowling, Robyn Margaret 1995

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PLACING IDENTITIES: FAMILY, CLASS AND GENDER IN SURREY, BRITISH COLUMBIA by ROBYN MARGARET DOWLING B.Ec. (Hons), The University of Sydney, 1988 M.A., The University of British Columbia, 1991 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Geography)  We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA May 1995 Robyn Margaret Dowling,  1995  __  In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department  or  by  his  or  her  representatives.  It  is  understood  that  copying  or  publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission.  (Signature)  Department of  9 1 31f  The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada  Date  DE-6 (2/88)  cJ(jiQ  O I 99S  ABSTRACT  This thesis is an investigation of the gendered, classed and racialized identities associated with living a traditional family life in a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia in the 1 990s. It has two entry points. The first is a focus on gendered identities that are the result of “old” ideals in a “new” cultural and geographical context: what identities result when traditional ideals of motherhood, fatherhood and homeownership are played out in a context where the ideals are being questioned, the ability to live these ideals limited and the surrounding landscape does not seem to reflect these notions? I use the heuristics of “new traditionalism” and “declining fortunes” to understand this interpretation and reinscription of the “old” within the “new”. The second entry point is a concern with place: how, in the 1990s, are white, middle-class familial identities gendered and experienced in and through place,  and specifically suburban environments?  Building upon  Doreen Massey’s rethinking of the notion of place, I define place as a constellation of social and cultural relations in a particular site and examine some of the ways that places and identities are articulated. The thesis is based on archival work and in-depth interviews with residents in two neighbourhoods in the Municipality of Surrey, an outer suburb of Vancouver, British Columiba. Through an analysis of the planning of Surrey I show how the construction of Surrey as suburban set the limits of possibility and  impossibility for identity there, deeming some identities  “natural” and others peripheral.  An examination of residential location  decisions demonstrates that spatially demarcated  neighbourhoods  were  desired and reconstructed and that the meanings of places within Surrey (what I term symbolic geographies) and distancing from a familial and racial  III  other were important in the process.  By exploring the multiple linkages  between gender, class and home I show how images of place, and especially the house and the neighbourhood, are part of situating the self.  Through a  focus on the tensions between new traditionalist ideals and practices, I suggest that cultural meanings circulating within specific places influence the experience of gendered subject positions and both exacerbate and smooth over tensions within new traditionalism.  In an investigation of the links  between religion, gender difference, new traditionalist convictions, and place, I highlight how religious networks involve a different relation to place compared to other residents. I  conclude  that traditional  models  of  family  and  gender  (new  traditionalism) remain pervasive signposts, and underlain by a relation to feminism, but are modified in response to the pressures of homeownership and different economic positionings (understood in terms of the discourse of declining fortunes).  This modification is also class and place specific; the  ability to live an idealized new traditionalist life is dependent upon the “possibility” of a male breadwinner wage and the meanings circulating within the residential neighbourhood.  iv TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract Table of Contents List of Tables List of Figures Acknowledgement  ii iv Vii Viii  ix  CHAPTER ONE. FAMILY LIVES, SUBURBAN PLACES: EXPLORING ARTICULATIONS OF PLACE AND IDENTITY I. Repositionings of the White, Middle-class, Nuclear Family in the 1990s II. “New Traditionalism”, “Declining Fortunes” and Suburbs a. New Traditionalism b. Declining Fortunes c. Suburbs Ill. Power, Culture and Identity IV. Articulations of Place and Identity a. Departures Placing the Feminist Subject b. Rethinking Space and Place c. Articulations of Place and Identity IV. CONCLUSION  23 28 32 37  CHAPTER TWO. SURREY AND ME: SITUATING THE RESEARCH I. Surrey and the Case Studies a. Surrey b. Glenwood, Berkshire and their Residents II. Representing and Interpreting the Interviews a. Me as an Outsider b. Interpreting and Writing about Interviews as Stories III. Summary  38 39 40 44 48 51 55 58  1 1 6 7 9 12 17 22  CHAPTER THREE. PLANNING SUBURBAN SPACE, PLACING THE FAMILY 59 SURREY, 1960-1993 65 I. Surrey before 1 960 A brief sketch 70 II. Rationalizing Surrey Space, 1960-1970 82 III. 1970s Rampant Growth and Cheap Housing IV. Surrey goes “up-market”: Developing South Surrey 1972-1985 90 V. House Price Inflation and a New Community Plan 95 Redefining the Suburban Landscape, 1 980 1 990 105 VI. Remaking and Re-imaging Surrey 1985 1993 109 VII. Conclusions -  -  -  -  CHAPTER FOUR. BOUNDING THE MIDDLE-CLASS NUCLEAR FAMILY I. Suburbs and Boundaries in the 1 990s II. A Gated Community without Gates: Delimiting the Boundaries of the Affluent Middle-class Family in Glenwood a. Making Boundaries (1) Planners and Developers b. Making Boundaries (2) Residents c. Boundary Maintenance III. Berkshire Park. Fluid and Multiple Constructions of Difference a. The Making of an Ordinary Subdivision  112 11 2 11 7 117 126 132 139 140  V  b. Making a (Bounded) Community of Families and Homeowners 151 c. Boundary Maintenance 1 57 d. Bounding Home 160 IV. Conclusion The Racialization and Intertwining of Declining Fortunes and New Traditionalism 1 62 CHAPTER FIVE. GENDER CLASS AND HOME: PLACING THE CONNECTIONS I. Climbing the Ladder of Homeownership in Surrey II. The Alignment of Gender and Class Meanings of Home in Glenwood a. Glenwood as the Pinnacle of the Housing Ladder b. Aligning Gender, Class and Home in Glenwood c. Gender Divisions and Glenwood Homes d. Homemaking and the Gendering of Identity Ill. Home and Family in Berkshire a. Family, Ownership and Investment b. Gender Divisions in Berkshire Homes c. Contesting Home  164 169 1 72 1 72 1 77 183 187 190 1 94 200 204  CHAPTER SIX. LIVING NEW TRADITIONALIST LIVES? IDEALS AND PRACTICES OF MOTHERHOOD IN BERKSHIRE AND GLENWOOD 209 I. Motherhood, Paid Employment and New Traditionalism 209 II. Berkshire and the Tensions of Mothering 212 a. New Traditionalism, Materialism, and Multiple Practices of 213 Mothering i. At-Home Mothering as a Financial and Familial Compromise 216 220 ii. “Working Makes Me a Better Mother” 221 iii. “I Need to Work but I would Prefer Not to” 223 iv. “Part-time is Best” b. Berkshire as a Symbolic Context for the Interpretation of 226 Motherhood 226 i. The Clashing of Different Practices of Motherhood Parenting, School ii. “The Neighbourhood doesn’t matter” 230 and Gender 234 III. Supporting New Traditionalist Motherhood in Glenwood 237 a. New Traditionalism in Glenwood 241 b. Local Culture of At-Home Mothering c. Glenwood New Traditionalism as a Context of Interpretation of 245 Motherhood and Fatherhood 254 IV. Conclusions -  CHAPTER SEVEN. RELIGION, NEW TRADITIONALIST FAMILIES AND PLACE IN BERKSHIRE AND GLENWOOD I. Religion and Linking New Traditionalism, Family, and Gender II. Four Stories of Faith, Family and Place a. Bruce and Linda b. Ingrid and Henry c. Julie and Brian d. Edward and Ruby Ill. Religion and New Traditionalism in Berkshire and Glenwood  255 257 260 262 267 270 276 282  vi a. Place b. Family and Gender IV. Fragmented Gods? CHAPTER EIGHT. PLACING NEW TRADITIONALISM AND SUBURBAN, GENDERED IDENTITIES I. Poststructuralist Articulations of Place and Identity II. “New” Traditionalism and Declining Fortunes Ill. Suburban Scholarship IV. Situating the Knowledges Produced in the Thesis  289 290 294 299 303  BIBLIOGRAPHY a. Books and Articles b. Newspapers  305 305 319  APPENDIX 1. SOCIAL PROFILES OF GLENWOOD AND BERKSHIRE, 1991 CENSUS  323  APPENDIX 2. INITIAL CONTACT LETTER  325  APPENDIX 3. INTERVIEW GUIDE  326  282 284 286  vii LIST OF TABLES  Table  Page  2.1  Characteristics of Respondents, Berkshire and Glenwood  5.1  Housing Careers of Glenwood Families  175  5.2  Housing Careers of Berkshire Families  1 92  6.1  Labour Force Activities of Berkshire Men and Women  215  6.2  Labour Force Activities of Glenwood Men and Women  235  7.1  Patterns of Religious Affiliation in Greater Vancouver  261  48  vi” LIST OF FIGURES  Figure  Page Surrey’s Location in the Lower Mainland Surrey and the Location of Glenwood and Berkshire Early Map of Surrey Municipality, circa 1890  41  Pattern of Residential Development, Surrey, 1960 Apportioning Surrey Space in the 1 966 Official Community Plan  68  Residential Construction in Surrey, 1971-1979  85  3.5  Residential Construction in Surrey, 1980-1992  98  3.6  “Overall Concept”, 1 983 Official Community Plan  99  3.7  Boundary Park Plan Glenwood Advertising and the Erasure of Surrey  104 122  4.3a  Glenwood and Surroundings Entrance to Glenwood  4.3b  Park and Pond, Glenwood  123  4.4  Glenwood Advertised as a “planned” community  125  4.5  144  4.6  Berkshire Park and Surroundings Advertising Berkshire Park Houses  4.7  Older Housing in Berkshire Park  146  5.1  Display Home Plan, Glenwood  179  5.2  Glenwood Homes  180  5.3  Berkshire Homes  198  2.1 2.2 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4  4.1 4.2  42 67 73  11 9 1 23  145  ix ACKNOWLEDGMENT The cultural and academic practices of the Department of Geography at UBC are imprinted on every page of this thesis. My supervisor, Geraldine Pratt, has helped me shape the thesis from its inception. For this, and her encouragement and calming influence I am especially grateful. The members of my committee Isabel Dyck, David Ley and Derek Gregory have been similarly supportive yet critical, and their careful readings of the thesis have improved it considerably. For reading previous drafts I also thank Michael Brown and Alison Blunt; Alison has always been reassuring and ready to listen to any of my ideas. Catherine Griffiths rescued me from my catastrophic cartographic forays by expertly making the maps. The Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan supported me financially and also provided travel money necessary to do the interviews hopefully the Commonwealth will not become a thing of the past in these days of fiscal restraint. -  -  -  Hallway conversations with residents of the 210 corridor, both distracting and clarifying, made the process of research and writing much I would like to thank in this regard Anne-Marie more pleasurable. Bouthillette, Michael Brown, Martin Evans, Phil Kelly, Yvonne Martin, Matt Sparke, and Bruce Willems-Braun. For their many afternoon teas, critical discussions, and friendship I am especially grateful to Alison Blunt, Natalie Jamieson and Juliet Rowson. I can only hope that the three of us will find similar support in our home continents. Siwan Anderson, Patrick Francois, Monica Hess and Tony Sayers, kindred gardeners, travellers and hikers, helped me explore British Columbia and feel “at home” here. Most especially I thank Garry Barrett, who was there from the beginning, and also at the end, proof-reading the final draft. He knows what this thesis and his support mean to me. Lastly and most importantly, I am deeply indebted to the many people in Surrey (who I cannot name) who selflessly and generously gave me their time.  1 CHAPTER ONE FAMILY LIVES, SUBURBAN PLACES: EXPLORING ARTICULATIONS OF PLACE AND IDENTITY  I. Repositionings of the White, Middle-class, Nuclear Family in the 1990s  For much of the twentieth century in Canada and the United States, the white middle-class family has been assumed to be, and positioned as, the central and naturalized living arrangement and social category. Today this is no longer the case; the familial, racial and class aspects of the white middleclass family have been questioned and repositioned. With respect to family, attempts to live and create nuclear families in the 1 990s take place in a different context; familial experiences are now fractured.  Unlike the singular “family” implied previously, the 1990s are  characterized by multiple visions and realities of family living (what Judith ): blended families, single-parent families, 1 Stacey calls postmodern families 2 lesbian and gay families.  Family is a site of contestation : whether the 3  nuclear family (generally narrowly defined as a heterosexual married couple with children, ideally with the woman not in the paid labour force) is the best 4 the consequences of the or most appropriate environment for children; 1  Judith Stacey, 1 990, Brave New Families: Stories of Domestic Upheaval in Late Twentieth Century America, New York: Basic Books. 2 See Kath Weston, 1 991, Families We Choose: Lesbians, Gays, Kinship, New York: Columbia University Press. Judith Stacey, 1993, “Good riddance to “the family”: a response to David Popenoe”, Journal of Marriage and the Family, 55, . 47 See also 545 pp. the response by David Popenoe, 1993, “The national family wars”, Journal of Marriage and the Family, 55, . 55 553 pp. See David Popenoe, 1993, “American Family Decline, 1960-1990: a review and appraisal” Journal of Marriage and the Family, 55, pp.527-42. On the New Right, see Jennifer Somerville, 1 992, “The New Right and family politics”, Economy and Society, 21, 2, pp.93-i28.  2 proliferation of family arrangements, 5 whether we are witnessing the “demise of the family”; and the implications of increasingly diverse forms of, and gender roles within, families. 6 Gender relations are central throughout these 7 debates.  What men and women should and can do in families, and the  gender of breadwinners, nurturers, caregivers and parents, are no longer fixed, but unstable and therefore contestable. As the family has been repositioned, so too has the middle class. Homeownership and an idealized suburban way of life, long the pivots in middle-class living, are both questioned and seen to be under threat. 8 Factors like declining living standards, omnipresent unemployment, rising house prices and the necessity of dual-earner families are seen to jeopardize the once idyllic lifestyle of the suburban, middle-class, nuclear family.  Being  middle class, according to some commentators, is now characterized by insecurity and anxiety, a constant fear of a downward economic and social 9 slide. 5  6  7  8  9  See Frances K.Goldsheider and Linda J. Waite, 1991, New Families, No Families: The Transformation of the American Home, Berkeley: University of California Press. For a Canadian conservative analysis, see William D. Gairdner, 1 992, The War Against the Family: A Parent Speaks Out, Toronto: Stoddart; on popular culture and media, see E.Ann Kaplan, 1 992, Motherhood and Representation: The Mother in Popular Culture and Melodrama, London and New York: Routledge, chapter nine. For feminist analyses see Michele Barrett and Mary McIntosh, 1991, The Anti-Social Family, second edition, London: Verso; and Barrie Thorne, 1992, “Feminism and the family: two decades of thought” in Barrie Thorne with Marilyn Yalom, eds. Rethinking the Family: Some Feminist Questions, revised edition, Boston: Northeastern University Press, pp.3-30. See Susan Cohen and Mary Fainsod Katzenstern, 1 988, “The war over the family is not over the family” in S.M.Dornbusch and M.H.Strober, eds. Feminism, Children and the New Families, New York and London: Guilford, pp.25-46. The most comprehensive statement of this position is Katherine S. Newman, 1 993, Declining Fortunes: The Withering of the American Dream, New York: Basic Books, based on in-depth interviews with New Jersey families. Barbara Ehrenreich, 1 989, Fear of Falling: The Inner Life of the Middle Class, New York: Pantheon.  3 Race has also been an element in the repositioning of the white, middle-class, nuclear family in the 1 990s, for the racial underpinnings and exclusions associated with familial lives and understandings are increasingly recognized.  Part of this is that the whiteness of readings of social life, how  investigations  and  interpretations  of  middle-class  families  assume  and  construct whiteness, is being documented. 10 More substantively, knowledge of racial diversity and opinions on programs like affirmative action are becoming part of white, middle-class, familial experience.  Lillian Rubin has  documented, for instance, how working class men and women in the United States attribute economic recessions and competition for jobs to a “racial 11 other”. positioning.  Distancing from a racial “other” thus becomes part of their self Although Rubin is speaking of the working class in the United  States, she has usefully identified the racialization of interpretations of everyday life, an identification that I build upon here. Despite these repositionings, a particular image of family, and middleclass material goals, continue to guide many people’s pursuits. According to Arlene Skolnick: For better or worse, family life, and an idealized image of what the family should be, remain the source of our greatest joys, our deepest worries, our most painful 12 hurts. It was this continuing salience of more conventional ideals that motivated the research upon which this thesis is based.  Contact with people who had  “chosen” a traditional family model, and a belief that academics tended to 10  Ruth Frankenberg, 1993, White Women, Race Matters: The Social Construction of Whiteness, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 11 Lillian Rubin, 1 994, Families on the Faultline: America’s Working Class Speaks About the Family, the Economy, Race and Ethnicity, New York: Harper Collins, p.175. 12 Arlene Skolnick, 1991, Embattled Paradise: The American Family in an Age of Uncertainty, New York: Basic Books, p.220.  4 disregard people living these models, made me curious and initiated the research. My aim in this thesis is to engage with, and explore, the ideals and contours of contemporary white, middle-class, family lives, in the context of its repositioning in class, familial (especially in relation to gender) and racial terms.  What  interpretations,  practices,  identities  and  gendering  are  associated with being white, middle-class and living in a nuclear family in the 1 990s?  How do the “new”  traditional ideals  -  contemporary repositionings  -  intermingle?  -  and the “old”  -  I investigate, in other words, how white,  middle-class individuals in nuclear families are living, experiencing and reworking these gendered, classed and racialized tensions around the family. My substantive focus is identity: what interpretations and expressions of self are part of contemporary middle-class family life and how, if at all, do they draw upon and evoke the changed cultural context of this life.  Through a  series of interviews 13 with residents in two subdivisions in a suburban municipality  of  Vancouver  -  Surrey  -  I  suggest  that  understandings  (necessarily gendered) of being homeowners and parents are situated with respect to other family types, the desirability of the nuclear family model, and a perception that a middle-class life is under threat. My examination of these repositionings is filtered through place: how are the class, gender and racial identities lived in, and negotiated through, particular places.  The places I examine are suburbs, for they are commonly  seen as the “natural” homes of middle-class family life. motivations led me to this spatial focus.  A variety of  My experiences in a working-class  suburb of Sydney (mainly as a child, but also five years as an adult) highlighted the continuing power of familial and homeownership ideals in the 13  Discussed in chapter two.  5 lives of many, and the salience of a “suburban”, occasionally “anti-urban”, way of life. I have thus long been intrigued as to why this was the case. On a more academic note, I felt that many academics had been dismissive of the familial and middle-class aspects of suburban places and lives.  Identifying  and focusing on changes in the built form of suburbs, like “urbanization” and increasing social diversity, seemed to leave behind a more conventional suburban space  -  the subdivision of detached houses  middle-class family.  -  and living  -  the white  I was and am interested, however, in what was  happening in these places. My thesis therefore is is it solely about suburbs. It  r  only about white middle-class family life, nor  about the intersection of suburbs (place), with  white, middle-class family life (identity).  It is about the interpretation,  experience and reproduction of familial-related identities in and through suburban environments.  Through archival work, statistics and planning  reports, I tell a story of the way familial social relations are enunciated and spatialized in a certain site.  The stories I was told in in-depth interviews  allow me to tell other stories of the intrinsicality of place, placement, and a changing discursive and material context to the constitution of race, gender and class in middle-class nuclear families living in Surrey in the 1 990s.  In  particular, I show how: spatial boundaries around middle-class, nuclear family identities were constructed in response to the perceived diversity of suburbs and the threat to families this encompassed; experiences of self drew upon “common sense” notions of the association between particular places and identities; and local cultures, consisting of rules of appropriate behaviour for a particular place, were a material influence on gender and class formation, especially in relation to interpretations of maternal employment.  6 In this chapter, my aim is to introduce the empirical themes and theoretical arguments that guide my analysis.  In the next section I outline  two heuristics that connect more conventional familial and class ideals with a contemporary context: new traditionalism and declining fortunes. These two categories usefully summarize the major ideals and struggles that were raised in the empirical work, and also allow me to bring the analysis to bear on broader academic debates.  In the third section I outline the theoretical  perspective of the thesis, situating it as a contribution to, and extension of, recent theorizations of place, identity and their intersection.  Drawing on  poststructuralist and culturally-oriented notions of identity and place,  I  develop articulations of place and identity that are investigated throughout the thesis.  In the final section I introduce the rest of the thesis, situating  each chapter as a consideration of some of the multiple articulations of places and identities within the context of new traditionalism, declining fortunes, and Surrey. II. “New Traditionalism”, “Declining Fortunes” and Suburbs  My understandings of familial-related identities in Surrey are framed by two discourses that link the continuation of “old” ideals with a “new” context: new traditionalism and declining fortunes.  Although emerging from  the interviews, they also have wider academic and popular resonance. such, I have two goals when speaking of them.  As  The first is to use them as  heuristic devices to understand the interview material.  My second aim is to  contribute to academic discussions of the discourses, especially in relation to their intersection, spatiality and complexity, points I come back to in the concluding chapter.  In this section I sketch the contours of the discourses,  my use of them, and briefly explore their spatiality in order to contextualize  7 the empirical discussions in the rest of the thesis.  I also introduce the  suburban scholarship relevant to the thesis, setting out how I reformulate it. a. New Traditionallsm New traditionalism is an umbrella term coined to describe the altered cultural context of families, class and gender in the 1 990s, and a particular reaction to that context.  Cultural and sociological accounts have identified  new traditionalist ideals and practices as important in constituting familial gendered identities. 14 The term gained currency as the result of a series of advertisements in the American magazines Good Housekeeping and Family 15 but has also been used by academics and policy makers. Circle, 16  It is  most clearly evident in advertising, but has also been discussed in relation to 17 popular culture, television, politics, 18 and the narratives of everyday life. 19 New traditionalism is a complex and contradictory set of ideas focused around gender relations within families and the problems women face around work and motherhood.  In some respects it is “post-feminist”, posing  women’s career and parenting decisions as choices rather than duties. ° In 2 the Good Housekeeping campaign, for instance, professional women were 21 depicted as choosing to remain at home. 14 15  16 17 18  19 20 21  But new traditionalism is also a  See Elspeth Probyn, 1990, “New traditionalism and post-feminism: TV does the home”, Screen, 31,2, pp.147-59. See D.A. Leslie, 1993, “Femininity, post-Fordism and the ‘new traditionalism’, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 11, pp.689-708. See Judith Stacey, 1994, “Scents, scholars and stigmas: the revisionist campaign for family values”, Social Text, 40, . 75 51 pp. Witness, for example, the rise of the Reform Party and their platform of “family values” in Canada. Elspeth Probyn, 1993, “Television’s unheimllch home” in Brian Massumi, ed. The Politics of Everyday Fear, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, pp.269-283. Katherine Newman, 1993, op.cit. Probyn, 1993, op.cit. Leslie, op.cit.  8 conservative, “anti-feminist” response to contestations of family, attempting “to resituate women in the home, with the home constituting the primary location of women’s identities”. 22 In this respect, new traditionalism evokes and engenders the view that the conventional nuclear family is the best and only environment in which to raise children, and that women should remain at home with their children. In many ways, the ideals espoused within new traditionalism  -  belief in  the institution of marriage, necessity of raising children in a two-parent, heterosexual home, and a distrust of daycare and “working mothers” 23 not new, but have been present throughout the twentieth century. 24 term  “new”  is appropriate,  -  are The  however, for it denotes the contemporary  25 a process that necessarily recasts reworking of these long-held ideals, them. Specifically, regardless of the feminist ideals of individuals, feminism, as a set of popularly understood ideals, is present in most understandings of contemporary family life.  “New” also refers to the different social landscape,  which is characterized by a multiplicity of family arrangements.  “New” thus  designates the context of the ideals as much as the ideals themselves. New traditionalism is a theme that emerged from my interviews, and one of my aims in discussing it is to understand the interview material.  For  both the men and women I spoke with, their nuclear model of family life was seen to be under threat by, among other elements, the tax system, the Surrey environment, and feminists. 22 23 24  In articulating these fears they invoked  ibid. p.690. For a description of these ideals see Judith Stacey, 1 994, op.cit. See, for instance, the contestations of maternal employment in the 1 950s traced in Veronica Strong-Boag, 1 994, “Canada’s wage earning wives and the construction of the middle class, 1945-60”, Journal of Canadian Studies, 29,3, pp.5-25. 25 This reworking of the past is often nostalgic and romanticized. See, for instance, Stephanie R. Coontz, 1 992, The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap, New York: Basic Books.  9 what I have designated new traditionalism.  As an investigation of the  potency, negotiation and gendering of new traditionalist thinking in everyday life, this thesis is a useful counterpart and contribution to other academic discussions of the discourse, where representation has been the sole focus. Moreover,  current  understandings  of  new  traditionalism  are  relatively  unfractured, tending to depict it as monolithic and all-powerful. An example of this is the view that strong religious beliefs underlie new traditionalist ideals.  In focusing on the working and negotiation of new traditionalism, I  hope to convey some of the contestations and closures of the discourse. For instance, how class-specific is new traditionalism? feminism?  What is the role of  I also have a geographical aim, investigating how place-based  constructions, local cultures and interpretations, impact upon and become part of, the reworking of new traditionalism. these  place-based  practices  help  convey  Does an acknowledgment of the  complexity  of  new  traditionalism? b. Dedilning Fortunes I use Katherine Newman’s phrase “declining fortunes” to signal the 26 cultural interpretations of the contemporary positioning of the middle class. Like new traditionalism, it has both academic and substantive origins.  What  initially alerted me to its existence was what I was hearing from interviews: the uncertain economic and employment context; the erosion of purchasing power amidst the incessant “ratcheting up” of consumption needs; and, especially acute in Vancouver, problems surrounding house prices and affordability, necessarily related, I was told, to immigration. traditionalism, declining fortunes also has wider currency. 26 Newman, op.cit.  Like new Micaela di  10 Leonardo, for instance, has shown how deindustrialization operates as a “folk model”, promulgated by the American media. 27  Declining fortunes, as I use  it in this thesis, is a discursive context that frames everyday understanding of being middle class. 28 A recent series of articles in the Vancouver Sun on the “death of the middle class”, 29 highlights the salient characteristics of declining fortunes. A first element is that recent economic restructuring has been so deep as to affect middle-level managers and other middle class occupations. threat of unemployment has become more widespread. ° 3  Thus the  Second, rising  taxes and stagnating wages have meant that remaining middle class is now a constant battle, one that is often lost. 31  This is especially the  case in  families with only one wage earner. Third, house prices have meant that the dream of homeownership is unattainable for many: Today Bruce and Kerry wonder if they will ever know the simple luxuries of living in a paid for home with a roof that doesn’t leak. They worry about spiralling costs, particularly the cost of housing. They don’t think they will ever be able to live in a new, modern home, something that was within 32 reach of their parents.  27 28  29  30 31 32  Micaela di Leonardo, 1985, “Deindustrialization as a folk model”, Urban Anthropology, 14,1-3, pp.237-57. I use the term middle-class to loosely refer to a social category focused around professional and adminstrative occupations and homeownership, which I address in more depth in chapter five. See Mike Savage, James Barlow, Peter Dickens and Tony Fielding, 1 992, Property, Bureaucracy and Culture: Middle-class Formation in Contemporary Britain, New York and London: Routledge. A series of articles from November 1 4 to 20, 1 993; summarized in Daphne Bramham and Gordon Hamilton, 1 993, “Death of the middle class: the story”, Vancouver Sun, November 14, p.A14. Gordon Hamilton and Daphne Bramham, 1 993, “Death of the middle class: the dream dies hard” Vancouver Sun, November 14, p.A1. Daphne Bramham and Gordon Hamilton, 1 993, “Struggling to remain smack dab in the middle”, Vancouver Sun, November 16, p.A10. Daphne Bramham and Gordon Hamilton, 1 993, “Death of the middle class”, Vancouver Sun, November 1 6, p.A1.  11 On many fronts the discourse of declining fortunes is problematic and mythical.  Most obviously, it is only relevant to a small portion of the  population, hardly describing the lives of many contemporary urban dwellers. Lillian Rubin, for instance, contests the class specificity of Newman’s claims, reminding us that working class women have always had to work, and that children of working class parents have often lived at home well into 33 adulthood.  Rubin also notes the racialization of the declining fortunes  discourse, highlighting its immersion in a privileged, white consciousness. 34 Newman herself falls into a “nostalgia trap”, mythologizing and idealizing 35 1 950s family living.  The case studies that follow do not neatly fit the  characterization of those with “declining fortunes”.  I spoke only with  homeowners, most with relatively secure employment situations.  Yet this  mythical status of the declining fortunes discourse does not mitigate its strength as an interpretive tool, which is how I use it in the thesis.  It is  precisely as myth that the discourse is most powerful, capturing the imagination of many middle class families today. I thus use declining fortunes as a scaffolding around which to build an understanding of the meaning of 1 990s middle-class life. Like my invocation of new traditionalism, I also aim to contribute to understandings of declining fortunes.  I am especially interested in its negotiation, gendering and  spatialization. Specifically, what are the spatial practices associated with this discourse  and  how  do  symbolic  geographies,  especially  in  light  of  contemporary social geographies, form part of the discourse? How is gender implicated and what gender identities are part of the discourse? Additionally,  33 Rubin, op.cit. 34 ibid. ch.1O. 35 Newman, op.cit.  12 how is declining fortunes  intersected by familial  and  racial concerns,  especially new traditionalism? Both these sets of understandings are racialized, underlain by, and expressions of, constructions of racial difference. 36  In particular, they are  embedded in a white consciousness and are sometimes dependent upon distancing from a racial other.  In what follows, I am alert to the racialization  of both new traditionalism and declining fortunes and explore it wherever possible. c. Suburbs My primary focus is the spatiality of new traditionalism and declining fortunes: what are their attendant spatial practices and how are they lived in and through place.  A number of questions are relevant here.  Are particular  spatial practices (such as boundary making) necessary to the understandings of the repositioned family? Do experiences in place exacerbate contemporary gendered tensions around the family?  I examine these questions in and  through a particular site: suburban Vancouver.  This focus is part of a long  tradition, for suburbs, especially in North America, are seen the “natural” 37 constructed by, and emblematic of, environment for nuclear families, 38 More recently, suburbs familial ideology throughout the twentieth century. 36 3  Throughout the thesis, I am using the term race as a social construction. On the nineteenth century see Robert Fishman, 1 987, Bourgeois Utorias: The Rise and Fall of Suburbia, New York: Basic Books; the early twentieth century Margaret Marsh, 1 990, Suburban Lives, New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press; and the postwar period, Gwendolyn Wright, 1981, Building the Dream: A Social History of Housing in America, New York: Pantheon, chapter thirteen. 38 On the 195Os see Lynn Spigel, 1992, “The suburban home companion: television and the neighbourhood ideal in postwar America” in Beatrice Colomina, ed. Sexuality and Srace, Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, pp.185-217. On the contemporary period see Lyn Richards, 1990, Nobody’s Home: Dreams and Realities in a New Suburb, Melbourne: Oxford University Press.  13 as family places have been invoked in new traditionalist discourses around the family and gender. In the Good Housekeering advertising campaign, it is a suburban home (detached house on large lot) to which women are re 39 Assumed suburban ways of life are also central to discussions of situated. Homeownership, for instance, central to many suburban  declining fortunes.  experiences, has motivated discussion of declining fortunes since it is seen to be under threat.  Family and class are also issues that have occupied  suburban scholars, although the diverse social characteristics of suburbs is also acknowledged. 40  In this section, I outline more specifically how the  gender, class and racial characteristics of suburbs have been understood and how they are reformulated in this thesis. Since the late nineteenth century North American suburbs have been created  by  varying  gendered  ideologies  particular, gendered, characteristics.  and  have  therefore  exhibited  Heterosexuality is assumed, and gender  41 is defined in the context of heterosexual, familial relations.  Suburbs, and  homes within them, were feminine spaces in contrast to the masculine worlds of city and work.  Margaret Marsh’s detailed analysis of late nineteenth  century communities in the eastern United States shows that the architects, developers, planners and residents involved in building these communities ascribed to the notion that men should work and women should raise children.  Suburban communities were seen to be most appropriate to  39 Leslie, op.cit. 40 For a summary see Carol A. O’Connor, 1 985, “Sorting out the suburbs:  patterns of land use, class, and culture”, American Quarterly, 37,3, pp.382-394. 41 The heterosexism of suburban living and literature is not often commented upon. For exceptions see Gill Valentine, 1 993, “(Hetero)sexing space: lesbians and experiences of everyday spaces”, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 11, pp. 41 3; and 395 Louise Johnson, 1 994, “Occupying the suburban frontier: accommodating difference on Melbourne’s urban fringe” in Alison Blunt and Gillian Rose, eds. Writing Women and Srace: Colonial and Postcolonial Geographies, London and New York: Guilford, pp. 141-68.  14 fulfilling these desires. 42  This coincidence of constructions of gender  difference and suburbs continued through the 1950s, in different places and times.  Veronica Strong-Boag’s research in Canada confirms the importance  of gender  difference  43 communities.  underlying  Yet  the  Strong-Boag  creation paints  and  a  more  image  of  complex  suburban portrait,  acknowledging the presence of immigrant women in Canadian suburbs of this era.  In the late 1980s, Isabel Dyck added another layer to these analyses of  gender and suburbs, illustrating that suburbs were not only domestic spaces, but were also forums for negotiating the meaning of motherhood and thus 44 identity.  Both  contemporary  and  historical  scholarship,  therefore,  illustrates the braiding of gendered constructions of difference with suburbia in  terms  of  principles  underlying  the  constructions  of  suburbs,  their  subsequent demographic characteristics and as contexts for the interpretation of gender difference. 45 Suburbs in the United States, though to a lesser extent in Canada, have also been the product, and emblematic, of a particular class fraction, namely  the  middle  class.  Based  on  ideas  of  the  importance  of  homeownership to economic security and raising children, communities for and of homeowners have long been created; from Jamaica Plain in New  42  Margaret Marsh, 1 990, Suburban Lives, New Brunswick and London: Rutgers University Press. Veronica Strong-Boag, 1 991, “Home dreams: women and the suburban experiment in Canada”, Canadian Historical Review, 72,4, . 504 471 pp. 4 Isabel Dyck, 1990, “Space, time and re-negotiating motherhood: an exploration of the domestic workplace”, Environment and Planning D: Society and Srace, 8, . 83 459 pp. Richard Harris, 1 988, “American suburbs: a sketch of a new interpretation”, Journal of Urban History, 15,1, pp. 98-103; Richard Harris and Matthew Sendbuehler, 1992, “Hamilton’s East End: The Early Working Class Suburb” The Canadian Geographer, 36, 4, pp.381-86; Bennett Berger, 1 960, Working-Class Suburb, Berkeley:_University of California Press.  15 England of the 1890s, to 1950s Don Mills in Ontario. 46  As a result, the  constitution of middle class identity and experience has been a major 47 focus.  Although working class suburbs have always existed and have  became more prevalent since the postwar boom, they are not the focus 48 here. Gender and class are not separate but are mutually constitutive; a principle that is readily apparent in the suburban experience.  Multiple  variants of middle class femininity and masculinity are constructed and evident in suburban environments. For instance, Geraldine Pratt’s analysis of the class-based meanings of homeownership suggests that homeownership is more central to definitions of middle-class masculinity than femininity. 49 Similarly, parenting practices and underlying notions of gender are quite variable by class, as cursorily sketched by Barbara Ehrenreich. 50  In the  thesis I am explicitly attentive to the multiple overlaps of gender and class. Race and ethnicity are also important characteristics of suburbs, though often noted more for their absence than presence.  Early suburbs  were invariably white, 51 as were later 1950s Canadian suburbs, although it is important to point out that ethnically Canadian suburbs have been somewhat 46  Margaret Marsh, op.cit.; J.M.Bumstead, 1992, “From Don Mills to Paradise Crescent, Home Sweet Suburb: the great postwar migration”, The Beaver, Oct-Nov 1 pp.26-34. Lyn Richards, 1990, Nobody’s Home: Dreams and Realities in a New Suburb, Melbourne: Oxford University Press. ‘ Two studies of Levittown across different time periods the 1 960s and the 1 980s demonstrate the continuing salience of middle class concerns in suburbs. See Herbert Gans, 1 967, The Levittowners: Ways of Life and Politics in a New Suburban Community, New York: Random House, and Barbara M. Kelly, 1 993, Expanding the Dream: Building and Rebuildina Levittown, Albany: SUNY Press. 48 Harris and Sendbuehler, op.cit. Geraldine Pratt, “On the reproduction of academic discourse: class and the spatial structure of the city”, paper presented at the Annual Meetings of the Association of American Geographers, Toronto, April. 50 Barbara Ehrenreich, 1989, op.cit. 51 See Marsh, op.cit. -  -  16  more diverse. 52 The place-specific constructions of gender and class I have outlined here are also racialized.  They are often predicated on exclusions of  people of colour, both overtly and covertly through house prices and exclusionary zoning. 53 These previous understandings of the links between suburbs, gender, class and race provide insights which I draw upon. ideas  in  two  important  ways.  First,  I  I also reformulate these  attempt to  provide  a  more  contemporary, Canadian, analysis of the intertwining of suburbs, gender class, race and family in a specific historical and geographical context. Mirroring the changed cultural context of the middle-class nuclear family in the 1 990s is a different setting, for suburbs have changed, being much more heterogeneous.  They now have downtowns and high density environments  54 The social composition of suburbs is also as well as low density housing. 55 more diverse, in terms of family types, race and income.  Indeed, the  traditional nuclear family is no longer the primary occupant and producer of suburban space. 56  Whilst maintaining a focus on neighbourhoods made for  52  Richard Harris, 1992, “Canada’s all right” the lives and loyalties of immigrant families in a Toronto suburb”, Canadian Geographer, 36,1, pp.13-30; and Strong-Boag, op.cit. On exclusionary zoning, see Michael N. Danielson, 1976, The Politics of Exclusion, New York: Columbia University Press, and race in suburbs, O’Connor, op.cit. A Canadian example is provided by John C. Weaver, 1 978, “From land assembly to social maturity: the suburban life of Histoire Sociale, Social Westdale (Hamilton) Ontario, 1 911-1 951 History, 11, . 40 411 pp. See Truman A. Hartshorn and Peter 0. Muller, 1 989, “Suburban downtowns and the transformation of metropolitan Atlanta’s business landscape”, Urban Geography, 10,4, pp. 375-95. 55 On Canada see L.J.Evenden and G.E.Walker, 1993, “The changing geography of the suburbs” in Larry Bourne and David Ley, eds. The Changing Social Geography of Canadian Cities, Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queens University Press. 56 Robin Law and Jennifer Wolch, 1 993, “Social reproduction in the city: restructuring in time and space” in Paul L. Knox, ed. The Restless Urban Landscape, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, pp. 1 65-206. See also Kim V.L. England, 1993, “Changing gender relations, changing suburbs”, Frontiers, 14,1, . 43 24 pp. “,  17 and by nuclear families, I want also to foreground this altered spatial context. Since suburbs have changed, then it may follow that the interpretation of experience and practices within those places have also changed. But my geographical aim and contribution to suburban scholarship is far more than representing place as a container.  I also take the idea of  suburbia as a place and the construction of identities within and through this place as issues to be examined rather than assumed.  Despite Herbert Gans’  careful ethnographic scholarship, nearly thirty years ago, that refuted the claim that suburbs automatically create certain types of people, 57 the view persists that there is a direct relation between a place people  -  suburbanites.  -  suburb  -  and its  I want to derive rather than assume the social and  symbolic characteristics of the suburbs I examine.  In other words, how do  particular notions of class, gender and race (as circumscribed by declining fortunes and new traditionalism) become connected to specific sites that we call suburban. The conceptual shift offered here, therefore, facilitates a more fluid and nuanced understanding of suburbs as places and the identities associated with, and contested through, them.  Achieving this reformulation  requires a different theoretical vocabulary, which I introduce in the rest of this chapter. Ill. Power, Culture and Identity  My concern in this thesis with experiences, practices and identities (especially in relation to gender) associated with living a white, middle-class, nuclear family life in Surrey, British Columbia, calls for an alertness to the importance of culture and 57  representation  in the constitution  of social  Herbert Gans, 1 967, The Levittowners: Ways of Life and Politics in a New Suburban Community, New York: Vintage.  18 relations, the materiality of discourse and the saturation of social life with power relations. I briefly outline the guideposts of my theoretical perspective in this section, drawn from contemporary feminist and cultural geography and 58 poststructuralism. Important in what follows is a capillary rather than juridical notion of power, one that in geography has been clearly articulated in recent work 59 using the landscape as text metaphor.  A capillary notion of power  recognizes that power does not emanate from a single source like capitalism or the rule of a sovereign but from many sources.  The social field is  saturated with power relations, flowing in many directions among many different actors.  Following Michel Foucault, power is not an object, but a  relation: the multiplicity of force relations (both domination and resistance) 60 All social relations are constituted by power immanent to all spheres. relations and one’s position and identity are reflections and products of relations of power.  Similarly, power is often transmitted and established  through signifying practices. discussions  on  “selling  James Duncan’s work on  61 places”,  environment, as a signifier,  for  instance,  show  Kandy or the how  the  built  reflects and reconstitutes power relations.  Alongside this notion of power is an acknowledgment that discourses, like new traditionalism and declining fortunes, are not imposed by the “powerful” 58  For general sketches of these positions see Michael Keith and Steve Pile, “Introduction Part 1: the politics of place” in Michael Keith and Steve Pile, eds. Place and the Politics of Identity, London and New York: Routledge, pp.1-21. 59 For an overview see Trevor Barnes and James Duncan, 1 992, “Introduction: Writing Worlds” in Trevor Barnes and James Duncan, eds. Writing Worlds: Discourse, Text and Metaphor in the Representation of Landscape, London and New York: Routledge, pp.1-17; James Duncan, 1 990, The City as Text: The Politics of Landscape Interpretation in the Kandyan Kingdom, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 60 Michel Foucault, 1 978, The History of Sexuality: Volume 1, An introduction, New York: Vintage, trans. Robert Hurley, p.92. 61 Duncan, op.cit. See also Gerry Kearns and Chris Philo, eds. 1 993, Selling Places: The City as Cultural Capital, Past and Present, Oxford: Pergamon.  19 (like capital) and internalized by the “powerless” (consumers).  Instead, they  emanate from many sources, and are negotiated with, reproduced, and reconstituted in myriad ways. Culture is also important, for it is a medium through which gender, class  and  other  62 understood.  social  relations  are  constructed,  reproduced  and  This sense of culture, as webs of meaning and significance  through which people’s experience is made sense of socially, 63 is insightful because it locates culture as part of, rather than preceding or as an outcome of, social processes. 64 I build upon this conception of culture here, with the relation  of  symbolic  and  experiential  elements  to  lines  of  power,  subordination, and domination the key point to be borne in mind. In terms of identity, commensurate with the focus on multiple axes of power and difference in poststructuralism, conceptions of the subject and identity are fluid, multiple and overdetermined.  I use the terms subject and  identity interchangeably, following Paul Smith’s distinction between the subject as the object of determinant forces and the individual as the 65 Identity is simultaneously perceived source and agent of conscious action. a process and an outcome.  As a process, I work loosely with Chantal  Mouffe’s conception of identity formation here,  nicely summarized  by  Thomas Dunk as the:  62  The important early work here is Paul Willis, 1 977, Learning to Labour: How Working Class Kids Get Working Class Jobs, London: Gower. 63 Peter Jackson, 1989, Maps of Meaning: An introduction to cultural geography, London: Unwin Hyman. 64 Witness, for example, how the forest workers in Dunk’s study produce themselves as loggers through a story they tell themselves about their own practices in comparison to those of environmentalists and city dwellers. Thomas Dunk, 1 994, “Talking about trees: environment and society in forest workers’ culture”, Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, 31, 1, pp.14-34.; p. . 16 65 Paul Smith, 1 988, Discerning the Subiect, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, pp.xxxiii-xxxiv.  20 process of stitching together meaningful elements which are already carriers of meaning and identity derived from other contexts and uses. 66 This stitching together is not free in the sense that it is unencumbered by relations of power.  Instead, the individual is neither all-knowing nor  centered, but subject to a number of competing discourses. 67 words,  the  process of identity formation  In other  approximates limited  choice:  choosing from available identities constructed by dominant discourses. Just as there are many sources of oppression, identity is the result of multiple, overlapping relations of power.  It is overdetermined.  As Mouffe  puts it: We can therefore conceive the social agent as constituted by an ensemble of “subject positions” that can never be totally fixed in a closed system of differences, constructed by a diversity of discourses among which there is no necessary relation, but a constant movement of overdetermineds and displacement. The “identity” of such a multiple and contradictory subject is therefore always contingent and precarious, temporarily fixed at the intersection of those subject positions and dependent on 68 specific forms of identification. The position of “wife”, for instance, is constituted by heterosexual gender discourses, personal biographies, state control and the education system, to name just a few elements.  In trying to understand the position of wife,  therefore, it is not possible to pinpoint one determinant, for there are many. Identity, as the outcome of these processes, is composed of a number of different subject positions.  An individual’s identity is never whole or  complete, but is multiple and fractured, being comprised of  many different  subject positions that vary along lines such as gender, class and race. Not all 66 67 68  Thomas Dunk, or.cit. Paul Smith, op.cit. Chantal Mouffe, 1992, “Feminism, citizenship and radical democratic politics” in Feminists Theorize the Political, eds. Judith Butler and Joan W. Scott, London and New York: Routledge, pp.369-84.; p.372.  21 subject positions, either within or between individuals, are equal.  There are  always dominant and subordinate subject locations within discourses and one’s identity. 69  For instance, within “femininity”, the identity of being  female in western cultures, certain positions like mother, subservient and wife are dominant. Many  discussions  70 ethnographic material.  of  identity  are  abstract,  rarely  grounded  in  Examinations of the multiplicity and complexity of  identity are more often made on the basis of purely textual material.  Keith  and Pile, for instance, situate their account of the partiality of identity in Salman  Rushdie’s  71 immigrants.  The  Satanic  Verses  rather than  the  experience  of  Part of the problem is conceptual, for moving from abstract  understandings of identities to concrete situations is difficult.  Linking  experience, power and discourse is even more problematic, for how is it that dominant discourses are manifested in subjects and hence reproduced and recreated in everyday life? bridge this divide. Zimmerman’s  The term is an amalgam of Candace West’s and Don  72 sociology,  73 performativity.  I use the term “doing gender” here to partially  and  Judith  Butler’s  notion  of  gender  Gender identity can be thought of as the acting out of a  script that prescribes certain forms of behaviour. The theatre analogy signals the constructed nature of the performance, but also recognizes the possibility of individual interpretation and refashioning of the script.  In addition, doing  gender emphasizes the embeddedness of these performances in everyday life: supposedly routine tasks like feeding the family and domestic chores draw 69 70  Mouffe, op.cit. For instance Paul Smith, o.cit. For exemplary exceptions, see Dunk, op.cit. and Frankenberg, o.cit. 71 Keith and Pile, o.cit. 72 Cand ace West and Don Zimmerman, 1 987, “Doing gender” Gender and Society, 1,2, . 51 125 pp. Judith Butler, 1 990, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, London and New York: Routledge.  22 upon  and  reproduce  gendered  identities  and  74 experiences.  Linking  experience, ideology and practice is embedded in the thesis as a way of elaborating the relation between gendered practices and gendered discourses like the family.  The notion is not only confined to gender, we can similarly  think of doing or performing class, race and sexuality. 75 IV. Articulations of Place and Identity  As I suggested in the introduction to this chapter, this thesis is an investigation of the living of new traditionalism and declining fortunes and their attendant identities, in and through place.  An understanding of the  inter-relations of place with identity is therefore required, a task not without precedent in  human  foregrounded  both  geography. place  in  a  Humanistic geography, cultural  sense,  and  for instance,  76 self-perception.  According to Edward Reiph, “to be human is to have and know your 77 suggesting that identity is always spatially situated. place”, environmental  psychology,  the  importance  of  “place  Similarly, in  identity”,  or  “an  interpretation of self that uses environmental meaning to symbolize or situate 78 is acknowledged. identity”,  Such perspectives are problematic, however,  in terms of their conceptions of both place and identity.  Humanism, for  instance, has been critiqued for an essentialist sense of both place and Marjorie L.Devault, 1991, Feeding the Family: The Social Organization of Caring as Gendered Work, Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press; Scott Coltrane, 1 989 “Household labour and the routine production of gender”, Social Problems, 36,5, pp.473-89. 5 On sexuality see, for instance, David Bell, Jon Binnie, Julia Cream and Gill Valentine, 1994, “All hyped up and no place to go”, Gender, Place and Culture, 1,1, . 48 31 pp. 76 See David Ley and Marwyn Samuels, eds. 1 978, Humanistic Geography: Prospects and Problems, London: Croom Helm. 7 Edward Relph, 1976, Place and Placelessness, London: Pion, p.1. 78 Lee Cuba and David Hummon, 1993, “A place to call home: identification with dwelling, community and region”, Sociological Quarterly, 34,1, pp.111-31, p.112. ‘  23 79 identity,  a  critique  similarly  pertinent to  environmental  psychology.  “Locality studies” also attempted an examination of the spatiality of social 80 though with a poorly theorized conception of culture. life, 81  My aim is not  to comprehensively review such perspectives, for I feel they have been 82 adequately dealt with elsewhere.  I also do not wish to rehearse the  traditional geographic arguments about whether space and place matter or the spatiality of social life; these are well worn and hopefully now self 83 evident.  Rather, I wish to situate the thesis as a response to, and  extension of, contemporary discussions of place and identity, especially feminist claims about the geography of subjectivity and non-essentialist conceptions of place.  In the first part of this section I outline how feminist  theorists have thought about the linkages between identity and place, using their work as an important point of departure.  In the second part I present  and develop Doreen Massey’s recent reconceptualization of place and space, and use it in the third part to present four articulations of place and identity that I examine in the thesis. a. Departures: Placing the Feminist Subject  Location, situation, placement, home, travel, mobility, exile, margin, and center are just a few of the spatial concepts and metaphors permeating  80 81 82 83  Gillian Rose, 1 993, Feminism and Geography: The Limits of Geographical Knowledge, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, chapter three. For a summary see Doreen Massey, 1991, “The political place of locality studies”, Environment and Planning A, 23, pp.267-81. See Peter Jackson, 1991, “Mapping meanings: a cultural critique of locality studies”, Environment and Planning A, 23, pp. 21 5-28. Geographical Imaginations, See, for instance, Derek Gregory, 1 993, London: Blackwell, ch.2. See Derek Gregory and John Urry, eds. 1985, Social Relations and Spatial Structures, London: Macmillan; John Agnew and James Duncan, 1 989, eds. The Power of Place: Bringing Together Geographical and Sociological Imaginations, Boston and London: Unwin Hyman; Gregory, op.cit.  24 current feminist and postcolonial theory. 84 Geography appears to be central to the search for a non-oppressive subjectivity. 85 masculinism knowledge  and claims  oppressiveness are  often  of traditional expressed  Feminist critiques of the modes  through  of thought  spatial  and  metaphors.  Recognizing that the “view from nowhere”, or the Archimedean vantage point, is both masculinist and central to colonizing impulses, 86 it is suggested that the place from which we know, mainly in the sense of position or relative location, is central to theory and politics. 87 “situated  knowledges”  similarly  acknowledges  the  Donna Haraway’s partiality  perspectives and the importance of embodied knowledge. 88  of  all  The view from  somewhere is seen as politically progressive because it entails a recognition of the knower’s embeddedness in processes of domination and subordination. These searches for a non-essentialist subject link place and identity in insightful but metaphorical ways.  My aim in the thesis, however, is to  examine the simultaneous metaphorical and material coupling of place and identity. theorizing. 84  85  86 87  88  89  Such a focus on the material is a useful adjunct to feminist Many spatial metaphors are used, 89 but to demonstrate my  For overviews see Geraldine Pratt, 1 992, “Spatial metaphors and speaking positions”, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 10, pp.24.1-44; Janet Wolff, 1993, “on the road again: metaphors of travel in cultural criticism”, Cultural Studies, 7, pp.224-39. It should be noted that these are theoretical formulations, referring to the position of the knower. However, they are useful and suggestive to my analysis, as I show in this section. Susan Bordo, 1986, “The Cartesian masculinization of thought”, Signs, 11 ,3, pp.439-56. See Elspeth Probyn, 1 990, “Travels in the postmodern: making sense of the local” in Linda J. Nicholson, ed. Feminism/Postmodernism, New York and London: Routledge, pp.176-89; Adrienne Rich, 1986, “Notes toward a politics of location” in her Blood, Bread and Poetry: Selected Prose 1979-1985, Virago: London, pp. 210-31. Donna Haraway, 1991, “Situated knowledges: the science question in feminism and the privilege of partial perspective” in her Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature, New York: Routledge, pp. 1 83201. Pratt, 1 992, op.cit.  25 points about the benefits of a material linking of place and identity I will use two specific examples. Movement and mobility have been important tropes in the rethinking of feminist subjectivity, 90 based on the idea that a subject constantly on the move would be more aware of its instability and exclusions. 91  Recognizing  that movement is often neither possible nor desirable, 92 recent work has seen living in a particular place  -  the city  -  as a substitute for movement, lain  Chambers, for instance, agrees that there is a need “for a mode of thinking 93 and he sees the contemporary city, that is neither fixed nor stable”, especially one transformed by migration, as a precondition for seeing the limits and partiality of subjectivity.  In the city, one is constantly confronted  by strangers that test and stretch the limits of subjectivity, forcing us to 94 More explicitly, recognize our complicities. it is our dwelling in this mutable space inhabiting its languages, cultivating and building on them and thereby transforming them into particular places, that engenders our 95 very sense of existence and discloses its possibilities. And: The city suggests an implosive disorder, sometimes liberating, often bewildering, that results in an interpolation in which the imagination carries you in every direction, 96 even towards the previously unthought.  90 91  92  93 94 95 96  Wolff, on.cit. On exclusions, see Minnie Bruce Pratt “Identity: Skin Blood Heart” in Elly Burkin, Minnie Bruce Pratt and Barbara Smith, eds. 1 984, Yours in Struggle, Brooklyn, New York: Long Haul Press. For a critique of the metaphor of travel, see bell hooks, 1 992, “Representing whiteness in the black imagination” in Lawrence Grossberg, Cary Nelson and Paula A. Treichler, eds. Cultural Studies, New York and London: Routledge, pp.338-46. lain Chambers, 1 994, Migrancy, Culture, Identity, London and New York: Routledge; p.3. ibid. p.25. ibid. p.16. d. p.93.  26 In other words, the city pushes the limits of subjectivity and disrupts the certainty upon which oppressive knowledge and action is based. Kathy Ferguson has recently made a similar point, though in relation to place more generally. 97 that  “trouble  fixed  Ferguson attempts to think of mobile subjectivities  boundaries,  antagonize  true  believers,  create  new  possibilities for themselves”; 98 an endeavour that is necessarily spatial. This subject is necessarily mobile, not in the sense of being constantly on the go, but in having a constantly changing relation to places, different types of anchoring in and to place. 99 It is the resources offered by, and experiences within,  particular  places  (Ferguson  calls  them  “temporal  and  spatial  possibilities offered by specific locales” ) that facilitate a non-essentialist, 100 non-hegemonic feminist subject.  Location is something to be used by  feminist subjects, enabling different knowledges and politics to emerge. Here, different types of anchoring to place are suggestive of different forms of identity. Conceptualizations of space and place within these metaphors are problematic, ignoring the social construction of both space and place.  As  argued by Neil Smith and Cindi Katz: The spaces and spatial practices that serve current metaphors in social, cultural and political theory are neither so fixed nor so unproblematic as their employment as metaphor would suggest. 101 Since space and place are seen as pre-existing then it invariably follows, say Smith and Katz, that space can unproblematically ground identity: “the 9 Kathy Ferguson, 1 993, The Man Question: Visions of Subiectivity in  Feminist Theory, Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. ibid. p. 1 54. d. p. 163. ibid. NeN Smith and Cindi Katz, 1993, “Grounding metaphor: towards a spatialized politics”, in Michael Keith and Steve Pile, eds. Place and the Politics of Identity, New York and London: Routledge, pp.67-83; p.71.  98 99 100 101  27 subject moves but space stands still, fixed, unproduced”. 102 Similarly, Caren Kaplan has argued for an historicizing of these references to place, on the basis that places (and therefore theory) are historically variable. 103  In  Chambers’ narrative, for instance, the city grounds identity, but the city never changes.  Similarly, Geraldine Pratt argues that Ferguson notes that  “understanding how subjectivities get anchored and disrupted requires careful attention to the specifics of geography and particular locales”, but fails to address the issue. 104 I am not advocating that the material take precedence over the metaphorical; I recognize the intertwining of the material and the 105 metaphorical.  What I am suggesting is that attention to the specifics of  the places in which identity gets anchored and produced is a necessary enhancement of searches for a non-essentialist subject.  Not only can it curb  attempts to literally translate these metaphorical references, but it can also help complicate the relations envisioned between place and identity. More importantly, I would like to take issue with the relation between the subject and place evident in the narratives of Ferguson and Chambers, for both proceed as if relations to places were unfettered and unidirectional. The sense I get from Chambers’ prose, for example, is of a subject that dips into and out of the city (and different cities, judging by Chambers’ international wanderings documented in his acknowledgements) at will, a disembodied, non-specific, subject. 102 103  Similarly, Ferguson’s discussion of anchoring implies  ibid. p.79. Caren Kaplan, 1994, “The politics of location as transnational feminist critical practice”, in Inderpal Grewal and Caren Kaplan, eds. Scattered Hegemonies: Postmodernity and Transnational Feminist Practices, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, pp.137-52. 104 Geraldine Pratt, 1993, “Geographic metaphors in feminist theory”, paper presented to the Making Worlds: MetaDhor and Materiality in the Production of Feminist Texts conference, Tucson Arizona, October. 105 Michael Keith and Steve Pile, 1993, “Introduction Part 2: The Place of Politics” in Michael Keith and Steve Pile, eds. Place and the Politics of Identity, New York and London: Routledge, pp.22-40; p. . 23  28 that the subject initiates the anchoring.  Connections to place, it seems to  follow, are constructed by the subject, rather than structured more broadly and part of relations of power.  But this is a one-way understanding of the  relations between place and identity.  Relations to place are also socially  constructed, as I attempt to show throughout the thesis. Places can also set limits on identity, and also reflexivity, and a recognition of these limits can hopefully lead to a more nuanced understanding of a feminist subjectivity. In summary, what I wish to take from this discussion is the limitations “real” geographies place on feminist attempts to theorize a progressive political and theoretical subject.  Unidirectional lines of causation are drawn  between social process, subjectivity and place and the specific characteristics of sites are often ignored. But relations between places and identities are just as constructed as identity itself, a point I demonstrate throughout the following chapters.  Moreover, because of this constructed relationship  between place and identity, specific situations and sites often structure, enable and constrain specific identities.  Thus I consider more explicitly the  inter-relations of place and identity in an attempt to highlight the limitations location often places on identity. feminist theory.  My purpose is not to refute the claims of  Rather, by presenting a multiply constructed and spatialized  picture of the social world, I hope to provide fodder for thinking about a more complex and situated theoretical subject. b. Rethinking Space and P/ace while the notion of personal identity has been problematized and rendered increasingly complex by recent debates, the notion of place has remained relatively 106 unexamined. 106  Doreen Massey, 1992, “A place called home?”, New Formations, 17, pp.3-15; p. . 11  29 In recognition of the problematic concepts of place and space in feminist theory,  signalled  geographers have  in the above quotation from  been trying  to  essentialist ideas of place and space.  formulate  Massey, some  poststructuralist and  non  Gillian Rose’s concept of paradoxical  space is one attempt to think explicitly about the spaces of the feminist theoretical subject formulated by Teresa de Lauretis. 107  Rose explores the  possibility of a space that avoids the exclusions of the masculine master subject: “paradoxical space”, a space that is neither here nor there, centre or margin.  Paradoxical space is multidimensional, consisting of overlapping  social relations.  However, I find Rose’s concept a difficult one to work with  empirically, partly because Rose’s discussion of paradoxical space recreates the idealism of the other accounts I have just outlined.  As Geraldine Pratt  notes, Rose’s more concrete descriptions only encompass one axis of difference at a time. 108 It is also difficult to envision paradoxical space in a material and multi-dimensional sense.  Because of these difficulties, I prefer  to build upon Doreen Massey’s reformulation of place, as I outline in this section. In her more recent writings, 109 Doreen Massey has suggested that in order to understand the “double articulation” of place and identity, the concepts of place and space need to be rethought. Rather than seeing space in terms of geometry, a simple pattern of heres and theres, “the spatial is social relations ‘stretched out”. 110  What this means is that space, in the  sense of distance and geographical differentiation, is the pattern that social relations form since they operate within and constitute a geographically 107  Gillian Rose, op.cit., esp. chapter 7; Teresa de Lauretis, 1990, “Eccentric subjects: feminist theory and historical consciousness”, Feminist Studies, 1 6, pp. 11 5-50. 108 Geraldine Pratt, 1993, op.cit. 109 Collected in Massey, 1994, o.cit. 110 d. p.3.  30 differentiated field.  As Massey further points out, space is in constant flux;  we only fix it in order to understand. But space is also fixed (or at least fixity is attempted) through social process, and it is here that the concept of place becomes relevant. In reconceptualizing place, Massey is critical of views that characterize place as bounded, and as a site of authenticity and fixity. 111  Problematic in  that they essentialize place, such views are also evident in contemporary movements, like reactionary nationalism. 112 conceptualize places  as  “open  feminism’s anti-essentialist, identity.  and  political  Instead, Massey suggests we  113 taking porous”, and  her cues from  multi-dimensional  evocation  of  Places are constituted by multiple social relations that come  together in a particular pattern at a site: “a particular articulation of those [social] relations, a particular moment in those networks of social relations and understandings”. 114 As constellations of social relations change, so too do the places that they constitute; there is no essential or ahistorical character of a place or the people who live in and through it. Massey’s work is important to a number of strands within geography. She  has  been  instrumental,  for  instance,  interconnections of the local and the global.  in  thinking  about  the  What I wish to focus on here  are the consequences of conceiving of places as multiple, shifting and fluid, albeit socially constructed and interconnected with global networks of power, for  thinking  about  the  inter-relations  of  place  and  identity.  In  acknowledgement of the indebtedness of her formulation of place to 111  ibid. p.5. Massey is especially critical of humanism here, although her critique is also relevant to the recent work of Sharon Zukin, who sees place as the grounding of identity. See Sharon Zukin, 1 991, Landscapes of Power: From Detroit to Disney World, Berkeley: University of California Press. 112 Massey, 1994, op.cit. p.5. 114  ibid.  31 poststructuralist conceptions of identity, Massey briefly refers to the “double articulation” of place: if places are conceptualized in this way [outlined above], and if their definition is amplified to take account of the construction of subjects within them, which are part and parcel of what it is to talk about place, then the identity of place is a double articulation. 115 I “amplify” Massey’s discussion of place in the next part. In short, I suggest that, contra feminist spatial metaphors, it is not just that subjects create places and draw meaning from them, but that identities are embedded within, and constructed through, places. Before outlining these articulations of place and identity, I would like to signal where I depart from Massey’s work.  Her approach is no panacea; I  think she also privileges the construction of places from the outside.  In her  concern to refute localized, unconnected conceptions of place (since these conceptions are more likely to see place as bounded and fixed), Massey emphasizes that the global is part of the local, but at the expense of the local being part of the global.  In her example of her home place of Kilburn,  Massey ably situates Kilburn within global circuits of capital, information and 116 people.  But she fails to evoke any sense of attachment to, or influence  of, place in the sense of local networks or cultures, nor the impact of either of these on identity and social relations. internationally situated.  I am not denying that places are  But places (both relations within them and sense of  place) are also the product of “internal” processes; of people’s constructions and understandings of these sites and their actions within them.  By  foregrounding places as interrelations of social relations at all scales, Massey loses sight of the imbrication of place-specific and place-engendered social 115 116  id,p.8. Doreen Massey, 1991, “A global sense of place”, Marxism Today, June, pp.24-29.  32 relations and the importance of the local. 117 In what follows, my emphasis is on “internal” processes. c. Articulations of P/ace and Identity When place is understood as a site-specific constellation of social relations, then the necessary and myriad linkages between places and identities becomes clearer.  For both identity and place are products and  components of discursive practices, relation to each other.  constructed simultaneously and  in  They are dialectically inter-related in the sense that  actions and social processes are at once constitutive of, and constituted by, both place and identity.  Recall that for Mouffe identity formation is the  process of stitching together meaningful elements out of the available 118 A geographer could add that discourses are spatially confined discourses. and specific; what is available in one place may be unavailable in another. To this extent, place has to be constitutive of identity because specific sites, as constellations of social relations and discourses, set the limits of possibility for  identity  formation.  In  other  words,  since  processes  of  identity  construction also create places and vice versa, then places contain within them particular notions of identity and, correspondingly, identity is most often associated with, and bound to, a particular site. My aim here is to add to this general understanding of why place and identity are related; offering an analysis of four specific articulations.  They undoubtedly overlap; I separate  them in an attempt to unpack the multiple inter-relations of place and  11  To be fair, Massey does accede this point in a footnote in Massey, 1994, or.cit. p.14. She acknowledges that she is pushing places as becoming, as processes as well as things, to the background, but thinks this is a necessary strategy to combat static conceptions of place. I am emphasizing here the other side of the articulation. 118 Mouffe, op.cit.  33 identity. I introduce the four articulations below, and also signal their relation to the theme of new traditionalism with which I began. The first articulation Is that discourses and places contain within them, by definition, the conditions of possibility for certain identities and not others. The making and design of a suburban landscape, for instance, privileges heterosexuality and a particular family form, with other identities deemed to be “unnatural” in such places.  It is important to point out, however, that  these possibilities are set by both the intersection of local social relations with global social relations, and the reconstruction of everyday life within places and the circulation of meaning.  Further, they are neither unchanging  nor pre-determined, but subject to constant redefinition. Chapter  three  is  an  attempt  to  illustrate  the  intertwining  and  contestation of place, identity and family in the municipality of Surrey. Through an examination of planning documents, newspaper reports and residential development activity since 1 960, I show how nuclear families came to be seen as the “natural” inhabitants of Surrey and allotted their own place.  By using newspaper accounts I show how notions of families in their  proper place were also invoked by residents.  Finally, I suggest in chapter  three that the place in which these social processes operated  -  Surrey  -  119 those processes. affected, like Massey’s geological metaphor, The second articulation is that the construction and experience of identity is spatiafized: identity formation and resultant subject positions have spatial manifestations.  In the context of relations of power, attempts are  made to create and bound place in the image of a particular identity. Delimiting a place of one’s own is part of the process of identity formation; boundary making is the spatialization of this process. In this respect place is 119  Doreen Massey, 1984, Spatial Divisions of Labour, London: Macmillan.  34 used to fix a fragile and fluid identity.  The spatialization of identity,  manifested in boundary making, is the focus of chapter four.  There, I  suggest that the use of place, and spatial metaphors, to fix fluid and fragile identities is part of the residential location decisions and daily activities of suburban residents.  In the context of a general understanding that situated  the traditional nuclear family as under threat both socially and spatially, and in a place  -  Surrey  -  that was socially heterogeneous, residents interviewed in  the two communities sought to demarcate places for middle-class nuclear families, places they could feel at home. Chapter four also demonstrates one spatiality of new traditionalism,  showing how attempts to live out a  conventional family life involving the carving out of particular spaces. Third, experiences within place form the basis for articulations of self, and may become mechanisms of change.  Place can do more than set limits  on identity, just like power it can be productive as well as repressive, here that culture and  symbol  become  evident, for webs of  It is  meaning  constituting and contained within sites represent available identities.  Within  this framework places provide a repertoire of meanings that can be drawn upon in the constitution of the self, and affiliation with specific places can generate ties among people and foster certain sorts of social relations. Place-based repertoires of meaning were part of the process of delineating places for the nuclear family in chapter four, but they, and the associated “place identity”, are most developed in chapters five and six.  In  chapter five, building upon the understanding that new traditionalist families should also be homeowners, I develop a notion of a local culture of property to capture the ways the intertwined symbolic and material resources within place are used to situate the self in class terms.  Gender and perceptions of  family disrupt these processes, but these too are place based. I also suggest  35 in chapter five that these local cultures of property are also underlain by the declining fortunes thesis.  The salience of the repertoire of meanings  developed within the two subdivisions for gender relations in the context of new traditionalism is examined in chapter six.  New traditionalism was very  much a guiding factor in both neighbourhoods, with residents striving to live a particular family life.  But their material circumstances and location  (especially the cultures of gender and mothering within these locations), meant that a number of different gender identities were experienced, and interpreted in different ways.  The argument here, then, is that place,  especially at a symbolic level, can produce (through processes of either support or disruption) identity and its fracturing. The fourth articulation is that just as social processes are place specific, so too are the webs of meaning through which we make sense of our world.  They are geographical in the sense that references to particular  places are used as short hand for social relations.  Spatial metaphors are  therefore part of cultural understanding and the constitution of identity. David Hummon’s earlier work nicely illustrates this, where he shows how the built environment generally, and the meanings of places like suburban, rural, ° 12 and city-dweller, are used to situate people in the social structure. Understanding of both oneself and others is predicated on their geographical placement.  Returning to Mouffe, the construction of chains of equivalence  and difference that occurs as part of identity formation is geographical: places are used to identify similarities and differences between people.  This  notion, which I term, symbolic geographies, cuts across the previous three articulations and appears throughout the thesis.  In chapter three, symbolic  geographies involving Surrey and Vancouver were important, whereas in 120  David Hummon, 1990, Commonplaces: community ideology and identity in American culture, New York: State University of New York Press.  36 chapter four I document how knowledge and interpretation of the symbolic and  social  geography  of  Surrey  was  an  demarcation of new traditionalist families.  integral  component  of the  The concept is deployed more  subtly in chapters five and six, but appears through the understanding of appropriate and “natural” social relations in the two subdivisions. Although these four articulations give insight into both the linkages between places and identities and the lives and identities of the people I interviewed, they do not exhaust the spatiality of middle-class familial identities in the two case studies. Places are not only constituted by one set of social relations (like familialism, for example), nor are inhabitants of a place positioned similarly in relation to these discourses and social relations.  I  approach this issue in chapter seven by considering the different spatiality and  place-based  practices  associated  with  strong  religious  affiliation.  Religious affiliation has been identified as underlying some new traditionalist thought, often being associated with a conservative attitude towards gender. In chapter seven I examine the imbrication of religious affiliation, gender, class and family with place.  Through in-depth consideration of a handful of  households I suggest that church-based networks simultaneously invoke a different  relationship  to  the  neighbourhood  and  articulate  a  different  spatiality. In the concluding chapter I return to the themes of new traditionalism, declining fortunes, suburbs and understandings of place and identity, drawing out the implications of the case studies for these issues.  In relation to  poststructuralist notions of place, identity and their articulation, I discuss the prevalence of boundary making practices and prospects for a progressive sense of place. I also critique my account of new traditionalism and declining fortunes in terms of two absent presences: feminism and race.  37 IV. CONCLUSION  In this chapter my main purpose has been to delineate the theoretical and empirical contours of the thesis. Rather than comprehensively reviewing all literature, geographic or otherwise, on place and identity, I have focused on  the  immediate  context  and  contributions  of  poststructuralist approaches to place and identity.  the  thesis,  namely  Feminist concerns with  “placing” a progressive subject are insightful for their explicit consideration of the imbrication of place with identity.  Guiding the thesis is an attempt to  inject these claims with a more material and spatial content.  Beginning with  Massey’s reformulation of the concept of place, one objective of the thesis is to develop and work with a poststructuralist notion of place that does not deny at the outset its efficacy in identity formation.  Second, and relatedly,  one of the aims is to focus specifically upon and delineate how place and identity are inter-related; how it is that they are constitutive of each other. How is place constitutive of identity?  How is identity spatialized and tied to  specific places? I have also introduced the major empirical focus of the thesis: new traditionalist understandings of family and gender, the contextualization of class within declining fortunes, and the increasing heterogeneity of suburbs. In the following chapter I extend the introduction and contextualization of the thesis, outlining my empirical work. There, I attempt to situate myself in the research process and in relation to the place (Surrey) and the people I interviewed.  38 CHAPTER TWO SURREY AND ME: SITUATING THE RESEARCH The claims I make in this thesis about place-related familial and class identities associated with new traditionalism and declining fortunes are based primarily on  in-depth  subdivisions  in  interviews  1 Surrey.  with  Qualitative  men  and  research  women like  this  unproblematic, a point that has long been recognized. 2  living is  in two far  from  Most recently,  feminists and poststructuralists have been critical of the ethics of conducting and reporting such empirical work, especially in relation to inequalities in power relations between the researcher and those he/she researches. 3 Judith Stacey, for instance, questions the feminist embracing of ethnography as a method, suggesting that it may be more intrusive and exploitative than quantitative methods. 4  Writing about, and “speaking for others” have also  5 been problematized.  The point made is that social  “gaps”  between  academics and those they research lead not only to distorted understandings but also to appropriation and exploitation of “others”.  Responses to these  more recent interventions have been both positive and insightful.  Geraldine  Pratt for instance, suggests that empirical work can counter some tendencies toward theoretical over-generalization and aid in recognizing the fluidity and 1 In chapter three I use archival, not interview, material. 2 See, for instance, Cohn Bell and Helen Roberts, eds., Social Researching:  Politics, Problems, Practice, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, pp.7087; and Pamela Cotteril, 1992, “Interviewing women: issues of friendship, vulnerability and power”, Women’s Studies International Forum, 15, 5/6, pp. 593-606. 3 For overviews see the contributions in Heidi Nast, 1 994, ed., “Women in the field” The Professional Geographer, 46,1, pp.54--l02; and Linda McDowell, 1 992, “Doing gender: feminism, feminists and research methods in human geography”, Transactions, lnstitue of British Geographers, NS 17, pp.399-41 6. Judith Stacey, 1 988, “Can there be a feminist ethnography”, Women’s Studies International Forum, 11, pp.21-27. 5 Linda Alcoff, 1991/92, “The problem of speaking for others”, Cultural Critique, pp.5-32.  39 multiple meanings of conventional categories like family. 6  Similarly, Isabel  Dyck sees ethnographic methods as “potentially powerful in allowing us to both describe women’s action and reveal the meaning of these actions for 7 them”. Critiques  of  qualitative  work  force  a  procedural  accountability of such research and its knowledge claims.  and  political  Good scholarship  is “situated”, acknowledging how and from where its knowledge was 8 produced.  In this light, my aim in this chapter is to contextualize my  research and the knowledge derived from it.  In particular, I want to outline  how the research proceeded and attempt to situate myself in it and the chapters that follow. In the first section of the chapter I introduce the places where I did the research: Surrey, Berkshire and Glenwood.  In the second  section I sketch how the research was conducted and my position within it. Here,  I attempt to contextualize my claims through talking about the  interviewing process, my analysis of the interview material, and the principles guiding the presentation of my informants’ words and worlds in the text.  In  so doing, I hope to show not only the constructed nature of my claims, but also their limitations and possibilities. I. Surrey and the Case Studies  I chose the Municipality of Surrey as the focus of my research for a combination of academic and personal reasons.  Surrey is a “well known”  6 Geraldine Pratt, 1993, “Reflections on poststructuralism and feminist  empirics, theory and practice”, AntiDode, 25, 1, pp.51-63. Isabel Dyck, 1 993, “Ethnography: a feminist method?”, The Canadian GeograDher, 37,1, pp.53-57; p. . 54 8 Donna Haraway, 1991, “Situated knowledges: the science question in feminism and the privilege of partial perspective” in her Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature, New York: Routledge, pp.183201.  40 Vancouver suburb, in the sense that it is often discussed in the media and comes up in conversation as  Vancouver suburb.  As a newcomer to  Vancouver, it was one of the few suburbs I knew much about, and I was interested in knowing more. In other ways the characteristics of Surrey were appropriate to, and guided, the analysis, as I illustrate below. a. Surrey In 1993, the Municipality of Surrey officially became a “City”. Despite this designation, which is a legal one based on population size, Surrey remains a stereotypical suburb of Greater Vancouver.  It is a fair distance  from the ‘centre’ (downtown Vancouver), 9 and is separated from it by a large body of water  -  the Fraser River (see Figure 2.1).  Residential land uses  predominate, a situation that for some immediately evokes images of sprawl and monotony. 10  According to the 1991 Census, 254,000 people lived in  Surrey, of whom 66 percent were part of the conventional nuclear family; and single-detached houses represented 52 percent of dwellings. As I outline in chapter three, young families in search of a home they could afford to own are largely responsible for Surrey’s settlement pattern over the past thirty years. Such desires continue to propel discussions about short and long term planning, amidst an ever-decreasing amount of land and increasing house prices.  The important issue of 1993, for instance, was the rezoning of  previously rural land across the municipality to urban residential use in response to housing shortages. 9  The word ‘Vancouver’ is used to describe a number of geographical scales. To avoid confusion, I use Vancouver to describe the City of Vancouver. When referring to the entire Vancouver metropolitan area (see Figure 2.1), I use the phrases ‘Greater Vancouver’ or ‘Lower Mainland’. ‘Surrey’ refers to the Surrey municipality, also shown on Figure 2.1. 10 See for instance, Eric Dolphin, 1993, “Somewhere over the river”, Vancouver Magazine, December, . 66 50 pp.  41  Figure 2.1 Surrey’s Location in the Lower Mainland  42  \FGnWOOcI ..i. lO4tbAvel  Guildfdrd  jB  -  I-’..  I  -  FIeetwoc’. Newton  64th Ave.  No.loHighway  :1  South Surrey  Figure 2.2 Surrey and the Location of Glenwood and Berkshire  43 Surrey also fits the characterization of late twentieth century suburbs. It is home to a significant Indo-Canadian community, 11 and pockets of poverty have developed, mainly in Whalley, in line with contemporary economic restructuring. landscape.  Townhouses and condominiums dot the residential  Seniors living in the “retirement communities” of South Surrey  and also throughout the municipality, are clearly present.  Further, Surrey  council is currently pursuing a mandate to create a “downtown”, attempting 12 to bring the designation “city” closer to reality.  These characteristics,  which I return to in the concluding chapter, formed an interpretive context for the people I interviewed.  In this respect, much of what I have to say is  derived from experiences in Surrey. Surrey is also a powerful signifier: mention of the word invariably conjures up a social image.  As such, Surrey is an especially fertile place in  which to conduct research on symbolic geographies. Although the signifieds of Surrey have varied historically, they have been united by a focus on Surrey’s  “reputation”  homogeneous place. 13  as  blue-collar,  a  uncultured,  crime-ridden  and  Throughout the Lower Mainland, and among the  Surrey residents I interviewed, “Surrey jokes” circulate widely and frequently, referring to, amongst other topics, the propensity of residents to be burglars, 14 Recent newspaper articles lack of “culture” and distance from everywhere. have  called  into  question  this  image  of  Surrey,  11  commenting  on  The locations of communities within Surrey, like Newton, Whalley and South Surrey, are shown on Figure 2.2. 12 Barton Reid, 1993, “Suburbs in transition: the urbanization and greening of Surrey, City Magazine, 11 ,4, pp.38-41. 13 I do not attempt an analysis of these signifieds by whom, from where and how they are produced here. My aim is to introduce the general ways Surrey has been thought about. 14 For a sample see Denny Boyd, 1984, “Surrey’s idea of a good joke in Vandercouver”, Vancouver Sun, October 25, p.A3. -  -  its  44 multicultural and “urban” aspects. 15  The terrain of discussion remains,  however, that of image and symbol. The above reassessments of Surrey, for instance, start from the image of Surrey and proceed to either debunk or reinforce it.  In recognition of this, a public affairs (or image management)  coordinator for Surrey was appointed in 1993.16  In this respect, as a case  study, Surrey may turn out to be a fruitful site for the examination of symbolic geographies.  Indeed, as I demonstrate in subsequent chapters, the  image of Surrey is an important component of the self-definition of some residents, and forms part of the discourse of declining fortunes. At the same time, my analysis shows that this image of Surrey is insufficient.  Images of  the many places within Surrey also have wide currency. The preceding description of Surrey is a starting point intended to contextualize the research. In chapter three, I explicitly examine the creation of Surrey as a place constellation of power/social relations constituting and bounding it. b. Glen wood, Berkshire and their Residents The conclusions I reach in this thesis about the multiple articulations of place and  identity rest upon two case studies of specific places,  or  neighbourhoods, within Surrey. My focus is the residential subdivision since, up to the present at least, it has been the most common site of housing for families. Subdivisions also have other advantages in terms of the ideas I am working with. Increasingly, subdivisions, loosely defined as groups of houses 15  Ben Parfitt, 1993, “City’s potential remains untapped”, Georgia Straight, Sept. 10-17, pp.7-9; Harold Munro, 1993, “City of Surrey”, Vancouver September 8, p.B4; Harold Munro, 1993, “Surrey: There’s a world of difference between the image and the reality”, Vancouver Sun, January 12, p.B1-B2. 16 Harold Munro, 1993, “It’s no joke: Council to hire spin doctor”, Vancouver Sun, January 12, p.B1. ,  45 generally built by one developer or builder according to a particular design, have a clear place identity or image.  Made and marketed on the basis of  their geographical and symbolic characteristics, their clear place identity may make it easier to speak of symbolic geographies. 17  Residents also create  subdivisions as meaningful and significant places in everyday 18 life, investing them with meanings that extend and disrupt developer’s intentions, as I show throughout the thesis. To say that the two subdivisions were chosen carefully according to the application of strict criteria would be a misrepresentation.  Serendipity  coupled with some loose guiding principles is a more accurate description. Such flexibility is not necessarily a problem, for in this research at least, it allowed the themes and theories to emerge from, rather than be imposed on, the case studies. Given my interest in familial gendered relations, I wanted to focus on traditional suburban neighbourhoods, consisting of single-family detached houses. These principles allowed considerable leeway, since there were many subdivisions within Surrey from which to choose.  I was most  interested in families with young children, for whom the pressures of childraising (and hence gender roles) and homeownership would be most immediate. I felt that I was most likely to find a higher concentration of such families in a newer (less than 8 years old) subdivision, thus I began by perusing the real estate sections of the Vancouver Sun and the Surrey Leader 19 of the past ten years.  17  For an overview see Paul Knox, 1 993, “The postmodern urban matrix” in Paul L. Knox, ed. The Restless Urban Landscape, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice HaIl, pp. 207-36. 18 Lyn Richards Nobody’s Home: Dreams and Realities in a New Suburb, Melbourne: Oxford University Press. 19 Newness also came to have other significances, as I show in chapter four.  46 I essentially proceeded by a process of elimination in combination with forays into many residential communities.  Since I perceived I would have  problems of access to the Indo-Canadian community, most of the Newton area of Surrey was ruled out. South Surrey was eliminated on the grounds of affluence, with average house prices there much higher than the rest of Surrey.  This left the areas of Fleetwood, Guildford, Fraser Heights and  Cloverdale, about two thirds of the residential development in Surrey.  In this  context, Glenwood (see Figure 2.2), the first subdivision, was chosen partly by chance; I stumbled across it in one of my excursions into Surrey.  It  appeared to be of manageable size, had visible signs of children’s presence, and the City Directory information indicated that it was typically middle class. Berkshire (see Figure 2.2), the other case study, was selected six months after Glenwood.  As a result, I wanted it to differ on some grounds that  emerged from the Glenwood interviews.  Given the spatial and social  coherence and relative affluence of Glenwood (themes that came to direct my analysis of white, middle-class family life there), I decided my next case 20 Wanderings study should be amorphous spatially and lower middle class. around  Guildford  and  Fleetwood  led  me  to  Berkshire,  which  I  liked  immediately because of its smaller houses and old cars that reminded me of “home”.  My reconstruction of the process may make it seem more definite  than it was, but the general point is that the choice of case studies was the product of a recursiveness between guiding principles, intuition or sense about a place, and themes that emerged in the first case study.  20  A preliminary note on the way I speak of class is necessary here, although it is given fuller treatment in chapter five. For me, class is a hybrid category, consisting of occupation, upbringing, education, self identification and experience. This amalgam of characteristics is bonded in the form of class identity what one is perceived as by others and by oneself. -  47 I discuss the characteristics of Glenwood and Berkshire, as places, in more depth in chapter four and provide more detail on the residents in chapters five and six.  In Appendix 1 I present selected characteristics of  Glenwood and Berkshire based on the 1991 Census, where the predominance of homeowning, white, middle-class nuclear families is apparent.  More  important, however, are the characteristics of the people with whom I spoke, for it is their words and concerns that guide the analysis. Most interviewees could be described as middle class in terms of both self-definition and occupational structure. Most residents described themselves as middle class, although often they would use the additional adjectives of upper or lower. The occupations listed in Table 2.1 also in the City Directory confirm this: manual  occupations  are  rare.  The traditional  predominant in both these neighbourhoods. Glenwood,  whilst Berkshire had  families renting their dwelling.  nuclear  family  is  also  Some retired people lived in  an increasing number of single-parent  In both places the majority of residents were  white. The most noticeable differences between the two neighbourhoods are with respect to income, house prices, occupational structure and the labour force participation of women with children, themes I address in subsequent chapters. It is also necessary to point out that the names of all respondents have been changed in the analysis to protect anonymity.  Because of my desire to  talk about these places specifically, and their small populations, I have also disguised  other characteristics of interviewees.  Occupation  has been  changed (whilst maintaining the social class category), as have previous residential locations (although the general location has been preserved), and the sex of children has been randomly changed.  In sum, I have tried to  reproduce an accurate irofile of an individual, whilst altering the details.  48  Table 2.1: Summary Characteristics of Respondents, Glenwood and Berkshire  GLEN WOOD Characteristic (families)  Number  Average Time lived in Neighbourhood  5.1 years  BERKSHIRE Percent  Number  Percent  5 years  Previous house: Surrey east of Surrey west of Surrey Outside Lower Mainland  9 1 3 2  60 7 20 13  6 1 2 6  40 7 13 40  Owned previous house Rented previous house  14 1  93 7  8 7  54 47  Average # of Children  2  Age of children: preschoolers only elementary school Pre-school and elementary elementary and high school high school  0 6 6 1 2  0 40 40 7 13  3 6 1 3 2  20 40 7 20 13  Male Occupation: health care, teaching self-employed professional, managerial skilled manual sales clerical  3 6 3 2 2 0  20 40 20 13 13 0  0 1 2 5 4 2  0 7 13 34 27 13  Female Occupation: health care, teaching clerical athome sales  4 2 9 0  27 13 60 0  2 4 5 3  13 27 34 20  2.5  II. Representing and Interpreting the Interviews  Chapters four, five, six and seven are based on interviews I did with 60 residents (from 30 households) in the two neighbourhoods.  I focused on  49 residents as a way of getting at “insider” constructions of place, although in both places I also did some archival research and interviewed builders and developers.  Residents of the two neighbourhoods were identified from the  City Directory.  Using this information and eliminating those who had  identified themselves as retired and those without phone numbers, letters were then sent to prospective interviewees.  This letter (in Appendix 2)  outlined my research, its concern with families with school-age children, and what I would require of them. where a firm refusal  It was followed a week later by a phone call,  or acceptance  was most often given,  although  sometimes I was asked to call back. Some interviews were obtained through 21 referrals.  Interviews were hard to get, not surprising given the time  demands I was placing on young families.  However, those who participated  were very forthcoming. It seemed that making the decision to talk to me was the most difficult part.  Once they were committed, and I was in their living  room, residents would actively engage my questions.  Most interviews went  way beyond the hour I had originally scheduled; the average was one and a half hours. Because  of  my  desire  to  speak  about  men’s  experiences  and  masculinity as well as women and femininity, I spoke to both men and 22 Since it is recognized that in interviews women in the households I visited. 23 within each household women are often silenced, however subtly, by men, I visited men and women were interviewed separately. 21 22  Men and women  In both neighbourhoods, I obtained three interviews through referrals. Lorna McKee and Margaret O’Brien, 1983, “Interviewing men: ‘taking gender seriously”, in Eva Gamarnikow, David Morgan, June Purvis and Daphne Taylorson, eds. The Public and the Private, London, Heinemann, pp. 147-159. 23 Hilary Graham, 1983, “Do her answers fit his questions? Women and the survey method” in Eva Gamarnikow, David Morgan, June Purvis and Daphne Taylorson, eds. The Public and the Private, London, Heinemann, pp.132-46.  50 were also interviewed separately in the hope that both partners would feel more comfortable in talking with me about issues that may have been sources of conflict in their households.  Generally, the strategy appeared to  be successful in this respect, although most thought it strange that I wanted to speak to both of them separately. The method itself often became a topic of discussion: why did I want to do it, did I get different answers in general; and what did their partner say in response to this question?  The gender  dynamic introduced to each interview also made the differences between interviews more apparent.  Where the couple preferred to be interviewed  together I did so. This too had its advantages and drawbacks. Often a more flowing conversation would result, although invariably one of the partners would dominate the discussion, though not necessarily the man.  I try to  draw on the strengths of both these situations in what follows. The interviews with both men and women were semi-structured, based loosely around the issues outlined in Appendix 3. subsequent discussion fell into four major categories:  Questions and the housing history;  descriptions of place; domestic practices and gender attitudes; and views of The first category captures background information and the housing  home.  careers of each respondent; the second images of the current neighbourhood as well symbolic as geographies; the third the negotiation and reproduction of gender ideologies; and the fourth the gender and class meanings of a specific place  -  the house.  Discussions often veered from this path, and issues of  place, gender and class were raised throughout the interviews. For instance, gender and family were invariably raised as issues in the context of housing moves, neighbourhood descriptions and divisions of labour in the home. Similarly, spatial constructions of difference in terms of the supposed  51 “natural” allocation of certain family types to particular places were ever present. As  I  outlined  in the introduction to this chapter,  feminist and  poststructuralist critiques of research problematize descriptions like the one above, on the basis that they ignore my position in constructing the “facts” collected  from the interviews.  Interviews are more than  information  gathering exercises. They involve a relationship between the researcher and the person interviewed, and the “data” collected are not simple presentations of facts.  Instead, how the information was gathered, the power relations  involved and the way stories are told affect what we know.  A crucial  component of contextualizing this research therefore, and acknowledging the 24 partiality of its knowledge, is critical reflection on the interview process, my position  in relation to the places and  people  I  studied,  interpretation and representation of their words and lives.  and  my  I discuss these  issues below, addressing, in turn, my relation to those I interviewed and how I re-present their words.  a. Me as an Outsider My position in relation to those I spoke with is an issue because it bears on how I collected and represent their thoughts and experiences. some respects I was both spatially and socially outside my “field site”.  In  I did  not live in either of the neighbourhoods, I am not a homeowner and I do not have children.  Being an outsider problematizes the research and impacts the  knowledge I produce here. (some 24  interviewees  My “outsider” charactertistics  thought  I  was  “over”-educated),  -  young, educated foreign,  without  See Kum-Kum Bhavnani, 1 993, “Tracing the contours: feminist research and feminist objectivity”, Women’s Studies International Forum, 1 6,2, pp.95-104.  52  children, for instance  made it difficult for me to “hear” things.  -  As  examples, I was halfway through the interviews in Glenwood before I realized that the omnipresent discussion about architectural controls was also about Similarly, the discourses of declining fortunes  social control and exclusion.  and new traditionalism did not really become clear until after the first few interviews in Berkshire, when I was able to connect some of the things I had been hearing.  I am still able to “read” the earlier interviews in these new  lights, but obviously I also missed opportunities to explore the issues further. Through careful and multiple attempts to listen to what was being said to me (often more than once) I hope to represent the interviews adequately, whilst acknowedging  that  representations of self.  the  words  of  the  are  interviews  themselves  More directly, my position affected what I was told,  for the stories I was told were certainly a response to people’s perception of me, as much as my questions.  For instance, and this is a point I come back  to in the concluding chapter, my gender and assumed feminist inclinations seemed to provoke a certain defensiveness in relation to gender relations.  It  is therefore important to be aware of the impact of the interpretation of my position, which I try to do in the following chapters. Although  problematic,  being  an  outsider  is  not  entirely  25 According to Cindi Katz: disadvantageous. One goes to the field as a kind of “stranger”, and draws on that status to see difference and ask questions that under other circumstances might seem (even more) intrusive, 26 ignorant, or inane to those who answer them.  25  See Michael Brown, 1 995, “Ironies of distance: an ongoing critique of the geographies of AIDS”, Environment and Planning D: Society and SDace, 13, in press. 26 Cindi Katz, 1 994, “Playing the field: questions of fieldwork in geography”, The Professional Geographer, 46, 1, pp.67-72; p.68.  53 In other words, distance is both enabling and disabling. being an “outsider” was a point of discussion  -  In my research,  especially as a foreigner  -  and  helped establish rapport. It also made it easier for me to ask people to clarify things I didn’t understand. Framing myself purely as an outsider is incomplete.  I feel I am in an  ambivalent position in relation to the people I interviewed:  I grew up in a  place and family much like those that I describe in this thesis; it is a life course and residential location decision that was “naturally” taken by all those around me; and it forms the context in which my interactions with family and close friends from that place occurs.  This partly explains my  fascination with the topic: why are homeownership and family living in suburban environments such powerful forces?  I am now at least partially  outside the realms of meaning of which I speak, but I was produced from within and by it, both inside and outside. Similarly, the position of the researcher varies through the research process.  In her comparison of two research projects, one in which she was  an “insider” and another an “outsider”, Zavella notes that being inside is no 27 Power relations, points homogeneous, utopian position for the researcher. of connection between researcher and researched and levels of empathy and 28 Indeed, this should be understanding vary within and between interviews. self evident given the current understandings of identity and power as multiple and situated that I outlined in chapter one. such  position  as  inside  or  outside,  but the  As a result, there is no researcher  positionings during and whilst reflecting upon the research. was not always in a more “powerful” 27  has  multiple  For instance, I  position in relation to those I  Patricia Zavella, 1 993, “Feminist insider dilemmas: constructing ethnic identity with “Chicana” informants”, Frontiers, 13, 3, . 76 43 pp. 28 Pamela Cotteril, o1.cit.  54 interviewed.  A number of times my interviews turned into occasions for the  interviewee to show their moral superiority to both me and others in Surrey and Vancouver.  Typically these tales were told by men, but also by some  women in Glenwood, though not Berkshire. Given these points it is more useful to think of interviews as situated accounts  constituted  by  overlapping  relations  of  domination  and  29 They are not searches for “the truth”, nor are they capable subordination. of producing “the truth”, as Kamala Visweswaran demonstrates.  She relays  the story of two “betrayals” in her ethnography, where informants withheld from her what she thought was significant information. 30 The issue here is not the researchers’ ability to get at “the truth”, she reminds us, but the ability of informants, through their narratives in the interview/ethnography 31 context, to produce situated knowledges or partial accounts of themselves. One of my interviews brought this home to me.  I had visited Sid’s home for  more than three hours, listening to what I thought were reflexive accounts of his and his wife’s lives.  During the tour of the house immediately before my  departure, Sid started talking about the time he was unemployed been out of work for three of the past five years till then.  -  -  he had  which he had not told me  I was startled and upset, and began to question the completeness  of what Sid had told me. Upon reflection, however, it was Sid’s right to keep this from me, and also reveals much about his identity as a worker and provider. 29  What is important, therefore, is to recognize this situatedness.  In  For discussion of interviews as situated accounts, see Bill Jordan, Simon James, Helen Kay and Marcus Redley, 1 993, Trarped in Poverty? Labour Market Decisions in Low-income Households, London and New York: Routledge, chapter one, and on power see Bhavnani, op.cit. 30 Kamala Visweswaran, 1994, “Betrayal: an analysis in three acts” in Inderpal Grewal and Caren Kaplan, eds., Scattered Hegemonies: Postmodernity and Transnational Feminist Practice, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, pp.90-109. 31 ibid. p.99.  55  my case, it appears that I was given the “public” story of people’s lives, told mainly in the “public” space of the living room. In this discussion I have not been trying to justify conventional research methods. Instead, I have been arguing that issues of power, access and distance in the research process are complex and contradictory. such,  they  researcher.  require  an  ambivalent,  or  “in-between”  positioning  As  of the  I have portrayed these issues in the abstract here, signalling the  importance of distance,  partial  knowledge and exploitation.  I try to  incorporate consideration of these issues into discussion of the interviews in subsequent chapters, using the principles presented in the next section. b. Interpreting and Writing about IntervIews as Stories Recognizing the partiality and situatedness of the interviews and my position is insufficient.  32 The problem of “textual appropriation” remains.  According to Anne Opie, textual appropriation is the representation of interview/ethnographic material driven by academic concerns: questions in the  literature  frame  the  analysis;  internally  contradictory  statements,  hesitancy and sometimes counter examples are ignored. Academic concerns certainly  framed  my  analysis  of the  interviews,  since  I  focused  on  constructions of place in terms of intersecting relations of power, sense of place in relation to identity, and the spatial manifestations of identity in practices like boundary making.  At the same time, however, I was open to  themes emerging from the interviews.  I detail the analytical process here in  an attempt to further contextualize the research. Immediately after each interview (either speaking into the tape recorder on the way home in the car, or when I got home), I recorded my reaction to 32  Anne Opie, 1 992, “Qualitative research, appropriation of the “other” and empowerment”, Feminist Review, 40, . 69 52 pp.  56 each interview (did it go well? were there many silences? was there anything noticeable about body language/mannerisms? what was the house like?), my recollection of what was said after the tape had been switched off (often a lot), and what I felt were the prevalent themes of the interview.  Within the  next week I transcribed the recording. I transcribed carefully, noting silences, pauses, and repetition of statements.  I think taping and transcribing is  necessary in scholarship that focuses on accounts of everyday life.  As  Marjorie Devault summarizes her experience: I doubt that I could have reproduced the delightfully individual accounts built around the significance of particular brands of breakfast cereal or particular cuts of meat these stories contained too much detail about items 33 too ordinary to remember with confidence. -  My skills of recollection would also have missed many components of the “ordinary” people spoke about: the daily routine, the chance encounters with neighbours or the seemingly insignificant remarks that when heard again become quite telling comments. Taping and transcribing, then, are central to 34 this thesis. It is almost impossible to completely reconstruct the analytical process, and I also want to resist the closure of such an account, for it belies the role of intuition in conducting research.  However, I can sketch in broad strokes  how I did the analysis. Once all interviews were transcribed, I sat down with Marjorie L. Devault, 1990, “Talking and listening from women’s standpoint: feminist strategies for interviewing and analysis”, Social Problems, 37, 1, pp. 96-116; p. . 108 3 Transcribing creates its own problems, for it produces reams of paper and mountains of unsorted words. Transcripts have to be sifted into categories in order to make some analytic sense, but also have to be kept whole to be interpreted contextually. The computer software, “The Ethnograph” was an important aid, enabling me to shuffle and reshuffle (metaphorically since it was all on disk) interviews and themes as they developed, whilst maintaining the integrity of each interview. As a tool rather than driving force of the analysis, The Ethnograph was indispensable.  57 the transcripts and my notes and began to sort through the interviews.  My  first coding scheme was loose, delineating broad categories such as the different reasons people gave for moving to the neighbourhood, their housing histories, or their relationships with school and neighbours. I then developed finer categories based on what was being said in these broader areas, based on repetition of phrases, or themes I had identified as emerging from many interviews. Thus chapter four, initially intended to discuss residential location decisions and maybe the creation of “family places”, became an analysis of boundary construction because of the repetition of “this isn’t Surrey” and “north of the freeway” and “we wanted a new subdivision”. Throughout the coding process, and the writing of the thesis, I kept returning to the interviews (both as a whole and as coded bits) in order to refine my analysis. In sum, I “read” the transcripts in light of three pre-determined categories  -  perceptions of neighbourhood, perception of identities associated with the home, and contemporary family life.  What I write about in relation to these  themes came from the interviews. The themes of declining fortunes and new traditionalism,  around  which  I  focus  the  thesis,  emerged  from  an  amalgamation of the detailed themes I had identified in relation to each of the 35 broader categories I started with.  They thus became umbrella categories  that helped me understand the linkages between the specific elements. In terms of the way I present the interview material, Anne Opie advocates  close  contradictions,  as  examination a  way  of of  interviews, addressing  especially the  their  problem  of  internal textual  36 A similarly close reading is conducted by Ruth Frankenberg, appropriation.  35  Prompted by critical readings of chapter drafts by Geraldine Pratt, forcing me to think about the forest as well as the trees. 36 Opie, o.cit.  58 using psychoanalysis to inspire her interpretations of interviews. 37 turn, suggest the use of lengthy quotations in the text.  Both, in  I use comparatively  lengthy extracts from the interviews, in the hope of contextualizing them.  I  am alert to the importance of pauses, repetitions, and contradictions, and I hope to present accounts that are situated in both everyday life and academic concerns. As a way of legitimating my readings of the transcripts, and their surrounding social and spatial situations, I have tried to give more than one example of a point. I have also tried to present the conflicting interpretations and experiences within each place. Ill. Summary  The  length  of  this  chapter  indicates  some  of  the  complexity  surrounding the conduct and representation of empirical work today and reflects my belief in the necessity of contextualizing knowledge claims.  To  this end, I outlined where and how the research was conducted and situated myself within it.  In particular, I have attempted to draw attention to the  ways my position may have affected the information I gathered, suggesting that we acknowledge the interviews to be public accounts of gender, class and family.  By describing the way I analyzed and present the interview  material, I also hope to have let the reader understand the position from which, and through which, the thesis is filtered.  In the next chapter I  continue the contextualization of the case studies whilst simultaneously beginning to develop the articulations of place and  identity, via new  traditionalism and declining fortunes, that I developed in chapter one.  3  Ruth Frankenberg, 1 993, White Women, Race Matters: The Social Construction of Whiteness, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.  59 CHAPTER THREE PLANNING SUBURBAN SPACE, PLACING THE FAMILY: SURREY, 1960-1993  The City of Surrey, encompassing 371 square kilometres of land, is a diverse place.  A traverse of the municipality takes one through many  different land uses and social formations.  Coming in from Vancouver over  1 for instance, a the Port Mann bridge and heading south on 152nd Street, Canadian flag flying high (off the tallest flagpole in British Columbia) guides you to the Guildford Mall, a retail magnet occupying more than two blocks. The mall is bounded by townhouses and apartments, and oozes into its surroundings as 1 52nd becomes a lengthy commercial strip.  The new high  rise towers of Guildford and Whalley begin to recede as one heads south, moving  through  endless  single-family  subdivisions,  occasional mall, car dealer or “urban forest”.  punctuated  by  the  If it is lunchtime, hordes of  school children walk purposively from school to their favourite lunch spot; otherwise the Street seems largely empty except for those in cars. 76th Avenue it all seems to change.  After  Heading downhill into the river valley,  the houses become bigger and surrounded by more land, until large fields stretch out before you. According to another description: is protected agricultural land, a The mostly empty area gardens and grazing land treed valley of market flat, lightly Nicomekl and Campbell Serpentine, accommodates the that third of Surrey’s 371 accounts for about a rivers and and Chinese in widekilometres. Sikhs in turbans square the peaty fields of can seen tending brimmed hats be since the last they have and corn as blueberries, potatoes plowed under stumps were hemlock and cedar of the fir, the 2 century. early in ...  -  1 2  The location of roads, bridges and neighbourhoods is shown on Figure 2.2. Eric Dolphin, 1 993, “Somewhere over the river”, Vancouver Magazine, December, pp.50-66.  60  Continuing southward, the landscape gradually becomes residential again, dominated by even larger houses on even larger lots in Panorama Ridge (what some call Surrey’s Shaughnessy ) and the newer developments in Elgin and 3 South Surrey.  The journey along 1 52nd ends at Southmere Mall, where the  presence of seniors marks a further shift in social composition and the City of White Rock lies just across the road. This chapter is an investigation of the processes producing the landscape I have just partially described.  Over the past thirty years, what  have been the major changes in Surrey?  Specifically, how did residential  What have been the primary forces governing this  development proceed?  One of my aims is to provide a context for the case studies  development?  that follow, outlining in general terms the place middle-class, nuclear families are situated.  -  Surrey  -  in which the white,  To this end,  I  provide a  chronology of residential development in Surrey, sketching where, when and within what framework houses were built.  I thus focus primarily on  occurrences within Surrey, relying on planning documents, local newspapers 4 and housing statistics.  In focusing on Surrey, my assumption is not that  processes “outside” Surrey were irrelevant; the City was and is situated in wider housing markets, political events and planning ideologies. The massive population growth of the Lower Mainland, for instance, propelled the growth of Surrey, which in turn was influenced by the Canadian economy and immigration policies. confined to Surrey.  Similarly, the planning ideals I discuss here are not My strategy, rather, is to examine the imprint of these  3 Shaughnessy is an elite residential landscape in the City of Vancouver. 4 Specifically, I use research reports, discussion papers and official plans of  the Surrey Planning Department, a comprehensive reading of the local newspaper The Surrey Leader for the period 1960-1993; representations of Surrey in The Vancouver Sun, The Province, and reports of the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) and its predecessor, the Lower Mainland Regional Planning Board; housing statistics; and interviews with key residential developers. -  -  61 processes in Surrey.  My examination of the recent transformation of Surrey  from an agricultural to residential space, built primarily for the homeowning nuclear family,  is filtered through three lenses which  I outline before  beginning the analysis. The first is a focus on the preponderance of what is called “single family residential” in both the Surrey landscape and the discourses producing How and where does the homeowning nuclear family “fit” in Surrey?  it.  What visions of family lay behind the suburbanization of Surrey? Which ones were hegemonic? Was family a contested category?  My purpose here is to  situate the single-family subdivisions that are the focus of the rest of the thesis. In particular, I want to show how a space for and of the homeowning nuclear family has been imagined and positioned within Surrey. Second, my narrative is filtered through the planning of Surrey. Imaginings of Surrey inscribed in planning documents and policies lay the groundwork for when, what type, where, and how houses could be built; they set the limits of possibility and impossibility for residential development in which builders, developers and residents worked. In other words, land use planning is: an ideological discourse on the nature of the built environment and a system of negotiation which sets the rules of access and institutional purchase afforded to 5 different agents. By focusing on the planning of Surrey, I am thus attempting to demonstrate the understandings governing residential development there. Since planning discussions in Surrey were far from unique, this chapter also 5  connects  with,  elaborates  upon,  and  extends,  understandings  of  John R. Short, Stephen Fleming and Stephen J.G. Witt, 1 986, Housebuilding, Planning and Community Action: The Production and Negotiation of the Built Environment, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, p.13.  62 twentieth century planning discourses.  In particular, I flesh out the ideals,  goals and methods of what has been called “modernist planning” as they operated in Surrey.  As summarized by Robert Beauregard, the modernist  planning project seeks to bring reason to bear on capitalist urbanization and guide decision making with a technical, rather than political, rationality. 6 Guided by a belief in emancipation and progress, planning is to: triumph over both politics and nature with its basic principles and knowledges: the authority/knower/planner, possessed of immaculate objectivity, is to conquer, shape, and control environments, guiding society toward its “vision of the future”, its “established targets”. 7 The application of scientific principles reverberate throughout my 8 discussion of Surrey.  Abstract representations of space and a belief in  spatial and social order are also important in my narrative.  The spaces of  9 both city and suburb are seen as uniform, coherent, devoid of difference, ° As I illustrate here, governing the development of Surrey 1 and disembodied. was the view that the land of Surrey was an abstract plane to be controlled, ordered and dominated.  I also pay particular attention to the spatial ordering  implicit in modern planning. As Christine Boyer points out, the quest to order and discipline space was also cellular, a process of spatial demarcation. The  6  Robert A.Beauregard, 1 989, “Between modernity and postmodernity: the ambiguous position of US planning”, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 7, pp. 381-95; p.381. Barbara Hooper, 1992, “Split at the roots”: a critique of the philosophical and political sources of modern planning doctrine”, Frontiers, 13,1, pp.4.5-80; p.56. She is paraphrasing Harvey Perloff, 1957, Education for Planning: City, State and Regional, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. 8 For overviews see M. Christine Boyer, 1 983, Dreaming the Rational City: The Myth of American City Planning, Cambridge MA: MIT Press; and Peter Hall, 1 988, Cities of Tomorrow, Oxford: Blackwell. 9 John Allen and Michael Pryke, 1 994, “The production of service space”, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 1 2, pp.453-75. 10 Victor Burgin, 1993, “The city in pieces”, New Formations, 20, . 47 33 pp.  63 purpose is to be able to separate or break up confusing overlaps, to fix peripatetic land uses. 11 Urban and suburban space are to be spatially ordered, divided into separate land  12 uses.  Zoning,  for  instance,  originally  introduced  to  control  “nuisances”, became crucial in controlling and spatially demarcating urban 13 development. It is important to point out that ordering urban space was also a cultural ideal. 14  The principle of “everything in its place” which underlay  rationality and order was a moral issue, specifying: not only how land uses should be arranged, but how land uses, as social categories, are to be related to one 15 another. In other words, the city was guided by, and subsequently expressed, the principle that there was a “natural” place for every activity and person. Ordering Surrey for both social and economic purposes was the dominant theme of the 1 960s, as I illustrate below.  This chapter, then, provides an  illustration of twentieth century planning and its importance in framing residential development in Surrey. I also wish to contribute to understandings of twentieth century planning by arguing that these planning ideologies are understood, and are contested through place-based motifs.  My point is that these more general  themes were understood and articulated in what were seen to be Surrey 11 12  Boyer, op.cit. p.71. See also Margo Huxley, 1994, “Panoptica: utilitarianism and land use control” in Katherine Gibson and Sophie Watson, eds. Metropolis Now: Planning and the Urban in Contemporary Australia, Sydney: Pluto Press, pp.148-60. 13 Boyer, op.cit. p.156. 14 On the dominance of economic imperatives in urban and suburban development, see Sam Bass Warner, 1968, The Private City: Philadelphia in Three Periods of its Growth, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. 15 Constance Penn, 1977, Everything in its Place: Social Order and Land Use in America, Princeton: Princeton University Press, p.3.  64 specific terms. Not only was the scientific ordering of Surrey emphasized for its ability to ensure a prosperous future, it was seen to be most appropriate to the specific concerns of Surrey.  The meaning and history of Surrey  subsequently modified the ideals somewhat.  By focusing on the place-  specific articulation of these ideals, I hope to demonstrate their modification and open up a space for their contestation. The third filter of my suburbanization story is the notion of a suburb It is now widely acknowledged that suburbanization broadly involves  itself.  the transformation of agricultural space into residential space, influenced by 17 population 16 crises of accumulation, factors such as transport networks, growth,  profit  18 motives  and  anti-urban  19 sentiment.  It  is  further  acknowledged that there are many different types of suburbs, with variation commonly being  illustrated  between  20 places.  Through the following  narrative I explore the many meanings of suburb within Surrey. The question here is what notions of suburb and suburban living guided residential development within Surrey. In the rest of the chapter I tell a story of the making and planning of Surrey as suburban in the period since 1 960 through the lenses of family, planning and notions of suburb.  The chapter is divided into sections that  correspond to a different time period in the recent history of Surrey.  These  periods are: the 1 960s where taming the landscape and rationality were the 16 17  18 19 20  Sam Bass Warner, 1962, Streetcar Suburbs: The Process of Growth in Boston, 1870-1900, Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press. Richard Walker, 1981, “A theory of suburbanization: capitalism and the construction of space in the United States” in Michael Dear and Allan Scott, eds. Urbanization and Urban Planning in Capitalist Society, London: Methuen, pp.384-429. For a Canadian analysis, see James Lorimer, 1978, The Developers, Toronto: James Lorimer. Kenneth T.Jackson, 1 985, Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States, New York: Oxford University Press. For instance, Margaret Marsh, 1990, Suburban Lives, New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.  65 governing motifs; the 1 970s revolving around the issues of growth and cheap housing; the emergence of South Surrey as different in the 1 970s and early 1 980s; the Official Community Plan of the mid 1 980s; and contemporary attempts to become a city. The concluding portion of the chapter draws out the import of the analysis to the case studies that follow; in terms of the ideological, economic and suburban context in which the neighbourhoods were developed, the hegemony of the nuclear family in the Surrey discourses of difference, and as an orientation map of the widely circulating symbolic and material geographies of Surrey. I. Surrey before 1960  -  A brief sketch  Incorporated as a municipality in 1 879, white settlement began in 21 These settlers had been immediately preceded by the Surrey in the 1860s. Royal Engineers, who surveyed the land and carved the municipality into a series of grid lines and half mile square parcels, shown in Figure 3.1.  This  perception and organization of space structured the original pattern of settlement, for when the pre-emption proclamation was issued in 1 860, the flood of settlers, mainly farmers, were pushed into this grid. Within this pre 1 890 agricultural space, settlers farmed and established small settlements, often with community halls. These settlements, such as Hall’s Prairie, Surrey Centre, Hazelmere, Clover Valley and Elgin, remain in the contemporary Surrey geographic vocabulary. The physical landscape was also transformed, with parts of the upland logged.  By 1890, these attempts to tame’ a  perceived wild landscape had transformed the land, and brought it into the dominant concerns of agriculture, white settlement and rationalization. 21  Most of the information in this section is from G.E. Treleaven, 1 992, The Surrey Story, second edition, Cloverdale: Surrey Historical Society.  66 During the first four decades of the twentieth century Surrey continued to be settled by waves of migrants, predominantly from the Prairies. 22  It  remained primarily agricultural, with an economic and cultural orientation toward New Westminster rather than Vancouver.  With the opening of the  Pattullo Bridge in 1937 and the growth of Vancouver, its orientation and character gradually changed.  The first significant “suburban” or non  agricultural settlement occurred during the Depression of the 1 930s, when people from Vancouver migrated to Surrey in order to live cheaply and be self-sufficient through gardening.  Further groups of residential settlers  followed, primarily for cheap housing, which meant that by the 1 940s Surrey was  being  called  Vancouver’s  bedroom,  with  residential  development  concentrated in the widely separated nodes of Whalley and Crescent Beach. The class composition of this settlement was mixed, with South Surrey peopled by affluent homeowners on large lots and North Surrey a mixture of 23 blue collar and white collar workers. by the Municipality in  Zoning regulations were introduced  1954, and new suburban residents also began  petitioning for more facilities explicitly on the basis of being suburban dwellers, not farmers. 24  22 23  Treleaven, o.cit. p. 98. WaIter Hardwick, 1974, Vancouver, Don Mills: Collier Macmillan, pp.13839. 24 Treleaven, op.cit. p.117.  67  .1 L,. ‘00  0D  — 7  I’  ‘7  4  I  S4  L.  i1j3  ‘0F.A o&  k.  ‘1  *‘  Jo  I_  JA  L  32.  7.  NH I  ‘  -‘\  gMO  I  -  r  ...  ee  D0  V  .  M0i0J •oI6J  96I  C.11  f  ‘  A  it.  to  c  ‘  -j  ----.;-  4 MZ%  -  J  4  D 4 . 0 ./  Co,  j  •‘.  : I——-.  t05f’f,J  —..o--.  J.0Ii.:r  ,  co.Lp  RIsl0.  WAlI: 0 I 6 F  S  !coJ  S  00  n’  --°:  5  t  6 Sk.4 J 1  z-°1 .  JCY\L7o2.JL  1  D  %Se  •  ‘.1  F  t  D.  fl0  .200  i  M.  b,:$-’J’-•  .  J  I  .  I  .  -  --  ÷  i’  jg.  •  eW.  L4 A  2.y:  ‘WA.Oii.  TL  -  J1  2.7 5M2.  J—  •_!  .  V  A  l  3  , 3 LJtO,&D20O  of  I  3°  Z5  €1  22.  v’-  20  22.  lq  \  :  JL.0Lo.  ,  I2.  --—___  o’cW1p  --—.-.i  •  e.  c.,  3..  6.  m0L,  JZ Ei1 a  I  ,.000’.  i(—%\l’  \  7/  WA2.D  )  ‘LL-W  •  •I  r  fl12.0Iw I0020y  L: -Ri 2. bZ IS0ca  3  -  ifI T °  ‘.——-I  M’60  I  rnoo  E± t’  f  J  C  2.  ,  H  —  2.3  —  c1  2.4  POIG:H  3  --  i4  1’N  :  —°k•  I_&  4 j  -  I D oo  zJJZ\  SE M  A  H M O  84  \‘S—  J  i  —  L  Figure 3.1. Early Map of Surrey Municipality, circa 1890 Source: G.Fern Treleaven, 1 992, The Surrey Story, second edition, Cloverdale: Surrey Historical Society.  .2.  68 .J. 0  0  CD  112 i  104  L’  U I  —  -  [0  9_,  COMMERCIAL INDUSTRIAL  I [F U.—  96  ’ 1 f  P.  egend t.a  _  I  80  SINGLE GMILY RESIDENTIAL 1/2—IACRE RESIDENTIAL  i._..........._j  —  Ii --  aJ  I -  h  ARGICULTURAL  72 I  I  4  • ,‘L-  F  “i—P  1  —-  .64 -•  IJj  I  56  —  1--i-:  —I  • ‘a I  —tt  .  I  24 —  I  V’.  i  k 8  0 Figure 3.2. Pattern of Residential Development, Surrey, 1960 Source: Corporation of the District of Surrey, 1 983, Official Community Plan, Surrey, p.33.  69 From 5,800 in 1 921 (less than three percent of the Greater Vancouver population),  the  population  in  Surrey had  risen to  71,000 by  1961,  representing nine percent of the Greater Vancouver population. 25 The purely residential, as opposed to agricultural, character of this population growth can be seen in the ratio of number of parcels of land to number built on.  In  1 955, of the 55,000 lots in Surrey, less than half had dwellings on them. Just six years later, the number of lots had increased by a third, and more than twothirds of the total had been built on. 26 Spatial concentration was a hallmark of this process,  as shown  in  Figure  3.2.  Most residential  development was to be found in Whalley, and to a lesser extent Guildford. South Surrey remained agricultural, as did most of Newton, Fleetwood and Cloverdale, although Cloverdale also housed the centre of government. White Rock and Crescent Beach were primarily residential, being both retirement and holiday communities. As a place with more affluent residents and no vacant land for urban expansion, White Rock formally seceded from Surrey in 1 957, because of its perceived differences from Surrey. 27 In 1 960, although Surrey had come a long way from being an agricultural settlement, it had no large shopping centres nor high rises, but consisted of a number of scattered settlements.  Until then, residential  development had been sporadic, scattered around the municipality and the result of numerous small holders subdividing and selling portions of their land. In this respect, Surrey appears to have been characterized by nineteenth 28 century land development processes until well into the twentieth century. 25  The Corporation of the District of Surrey, Planning Division, 1 963, Planning for Surrey: a renort on the basic aims for rlanning the District of Surrey, Surrey: Community Plan Series Report I, p.6. 26 Planning for Surrey, or.cit. p.10. 27 Treleaven, oi.cit. 1 1 6. On the different characteristics of White Rock p. Hardwick, or.cit. p. 1 39. Walter this time see at 28 On early Canadian land development see Harris and Sendbuehler, op.cit, and Ross Paterson, 1 989, “Creating the packaged suburb: the evolution  70 Many lived on lots in the north of the municipality that were not connected to services like sewage and water.  Transport connections to Vancouver  remained limited, with only the Pattullo Bridge and George Massey tunnel open.  The seeds of change were present, however.  The Port Mann bridge  was about to open (1960), and since the opening of water crossings in Vancouver operated much like streetcars elsewhere, change was expected. 29 Grosvenor-Laing, an international property developer, was about to develop the Guildford Town Centre, the first community plan was being discussed, and medium and high density housing were on the agenda.  Although not a  clear break with the past, the 1 960s represent a turning point in the suburbanization of Surrey: from a rural past to a suburban future. II. Rationalizing Surrey Slace, 1960-1970  Ordering Surrey for both social and economic purposes was the dominant theme of the 1 960s, although it was expressed and understood through what were seen to be Surrey-specific concerns. Surrey  were  characterized  by  development I described above.  scrutiny  of the  The early 1 960s in  haphazard  process  of  In an attempt to become “modern”, Surrey  council instigated a review of development, planning and the future of Surrey, culminating in a series of reports to council. The primary point of the reports was criticism of the uncoordinated subdivision and occupation of land 30 which was seen to leave the until now bright future of Surrey to chance. of planning and business practices in the early Canadian land development industry, 1900-1914” in Barbara M. Kelly, ed. Suburbia Re examined, New York: Greenwood Press, pp. 1 1 9-32. 29 On streetcars, see Sam Bass Warner, or.cit. On bridges and tunnels in Vancouver suburbanization, see L.J. Evenden, 1 978, “Shaping the Vancouver suburbs” in L.J. Evenden, ed. Vancouver: Western MetroDolis, Western Geographical Series volume 1 6, University of Victoria Department of Geography, pp.179-99. 30 Planning for Surrey, on.cit. p.3.  71 Growth, according to the reports, was ruining the Surrey landscape and the welfare and livelihood of its residents, for two reasons. urban developments were spiralling out of control.  First, the costs of Land  was being  subdivided and built on at a great rate across the municipality, placing demands to provide sewers, water, schools and other facilities. Yet since the municipality was so large and population and housing so scattered, the costs of servicing were too great.  Substandard and varying qualities of life  resulted, which, according to planners, threatened to undermine one of the defining characteristics of Surrey  -  its livability.  As stated in one of the  reports: Since it will not happen overnight the trying experiences of growth must be limited by careful control over development. Urban residential development must be directed into an orderly contiguous pattern to keep down costs of services. 31 A second criticism of haphazard growth emanated from those who wanted Surrey to be a place for the investment in, and development of, residential land.  The present pattern of land ownership, particularly the  number of small holders and also the lack of a central hand guiding development, mitigated the potential for profit creation, for it was difficult for 32 corporations to subdivide and develop larger parcels of land.  31  The Corporation of the District of Surrey, Planning Division, 1 964, Preface to a Community Plan: A report on the survey and analysis leading to a Surrey Community Plan, Surrey: Community Plan Series Report 8, p.79. 32 See The Corporation of the District of Surrey, Planning Division, 1 964, Perspective ‘81: A proposal for a comprehensive general plan for Surrey, Surrey: Community Plan Series Report 9, p.81. These criticisms were far from unique to Surrey. On the increasing influence of developers and real estate agents in American urban areas of the twentieth century, see Marc A. Weiss, 1 987, The Rise of the Community Builders: The American Real Estate Industry and Urban Land Planning, New York: Columbia University Press.  72 The response to these pressures was to control, tame and order this rampaging Surrey:  “a sense of order should pervade the whole”; 33 “orderly  growth is the aim”; 34 and “the trying experiences of growth must be limited 35 Order was realized spatially: where by careful control over development”. development could occur would be directly controlled, which would therefore indirectly control the amount of development. 36 One expression of this spatially manifested rationality was that the planning reports further compartmentalized the land of Surrey within the parameters set by the original surveyor’s grid lines: growth, residential development, commerce, industry and agriculture were all to have their own place in the municipality, and each piece of land, in turn, was to have its own meaning and appropriate social relations.  In effect, the land of Surrey was  imagined solely in terms of spatially separate land uses. Two specific policies were advocated with respect to developers and suburban growth: “urban residential development must be directed into an orderly contiguous pattern 37 and “what is needed to keep down costs of services” framework  within  which  a  land  assembler  can  .  .  .  is the sort of  comfortably  and  advantageously operate, serving the Municipality’s purpose no less than his 38 The result is depicted in Figure 3.3, showing the allocation of land own”. to specific uses.  33 34 35 36  Preface or.cit. p.30. ibid, p.32. Perspective ‘81, o.cit. p.79. This rationalizing of the landscape had begun five years earlier with the changing of street names. Previously named after local people, places, and events, roads became numbered avenues and streets in 1 957, on the grounds of efficiency see Treleaven, op.cit. p. 1 1 7. 3 Preface to a Community Plan, op.cit. p.30. 38 Perspective ‘81, o.cit. p.10. ,  -  73  Figure 3.3. Apportioning Surrey Space in the 1966 Official Community Plan Source: Corporation of the District of Surrey, 1 966, Official Community Plan, Surrey.  74 Yet the vision promulgated was far more complex than just rationality; it was modified according to the history and meaning of Surrey.  Surrey’s  advantages as a place to live were seen to lie in its ability “to retain many of the advantages of the rural setting, [and] combine them with the advantages of urbanism”. 39  Surrey was therefore to be a mixture of urban and rural:  certain areas were to be reserved for agricultural and rural living, shown in Figure 3.3, and residential development was to be concentrated and confined to designated urban areas in order to save on servicing costs. ° 4 one urban area, five “nodal” settlements, were designated. dominant goal,  Instead of  points of growth, based on the original The rational ordering of space, although the  was thus modified in accordance with the history and  geography of Surrey. The actual land use pattern envisaged and subsequently acted upon in the 1 960s was also underlain by familial assumptions.  Each of the five  designated “urban” areas consisted of neighbourhoods, villages and towns, providing a gradation between urban and rural living that satisfied the spatial constraints on servicing whilst maintaining a proximity that facilitated the social mixing of rural and urban life.  Moreover, this urban differentiation  allowed the spatial separation of separate family types.  Neighbourhoods, the  smallest element of this “urban hierarchy”, were to be: the everyday world of the elementary school child, the focus of daily living for the homemaker, and the place where the father may relax in privacy with his family. 41 Villages, comprising two or three neighbourhoods, were to be more “urban”, but small-scale, emphasizing local activities. Completing the hierarchy would be town centres, creating a feeling of urbanity, but still no more than three 40 41  Preface to a Community Plan, op.cit. p.9. Planning for Surrey, op.cit. p.31. Perspective ‘81, or.cit. p.26.  75 miles from rural life. 42  At the neighbourhood scale the nuclear family was  predominant, whereas villages were more diverse: Age group mix is to be achieved in the village by encouraging the forms of housing suited to each particular age group apartments for single and married people without children, and for the elderly; town houses and garden apartments for young families in the pre-home purchasing stage; and single family homes with children of school age. 43 -  “Difference” was not only to be spatially ordered, but was conceptualized narrowly, in terms of family (and even then only with respect to singles and couples with and without children), age, life cycle and house type, with no reference made to class, sexuality or ethnicity.  Moreover, the above quote  almost exactly replicates the hierarchical “ladder of life” that Constance Penn identifies; a life cycle transition that had corresponding places and moves. 44 In the production and mapping of Surrey achieved in these documents, 45 family is the pivotal point of all discussions of social differentiation.  In  some ways, the traditional nuclear family is the absent presence, the assumed given, that structures these reports.  It is surprising how little  discussion of families there is, but somehow it just seems to be there. At the most obvious level, none of the planning theories and demarcations of space would “work”  in the context of other conceptions of difference.  Consider,  for instance, the neighbourhood and its focus around the elementary school. The  assumed  homogeneity  and  boundedness  of  this  scale  become  nonsensical if it is recognized, for example, that women may not be at home  42  ibid. p.15. The Corporation of the District of Surrey, 1 966, Official Community Plan, Surrey, p.10. 4 Penn, op.cit. 45 A discussion not unique to Surrey. See Gwendolyn Wright, 1981, Building the Dream: A Social History of Housing in America, New York: Pantheon.  76 to make these places cohere. 46  Definitions of families and lifestyles were  rigidly drawn: underlying the series of planning reports was the assumption that “the family remain the basic social unit”, “the single family dwelling will remain the prevalent model of housing” and “home ownership will remain a desired social and economic goal”. 47 discussion, the traditionally defined  As I will detail throughout this  nuclear family remained hegemonic  throughout the process of making Surrey suburban. Although an accommodation between the specifics of Surrey and the discourse of rationality can be identified in the 1 960s planning reports, the extent of compromise was seen to favour modernist planning principles.  In  particular, the way space was apportioned between urban and agricultural in the original Surrey Official Community Plan (OCP) was seen to be anomalous in terms of local definitions and current patterns of suburban land use in Surrey.  Generations of Surrey residents had been living at the interstices of  urban and rural ways of life, living on areas of one to five acres, and defining themselves as neither urban nor rural. These land uses and ways of life were defined as “suburban” in Surrey, but had been overlooked, even obliterated, in the plans. The editor of The Leader for instance, alleged that “suburban” was seen as a residual category, a product of an urban and “highest and best 48 Explicitly: use” ideology. Unfortunately, we seem to follow the trend of negative thinking in regard to suburban communities. We call it suburban residential but it isn’t really. In Surrey we have “urban residential” and various categories of zoning to prevent them from being urban residential just now. The thinking in regard to suburban zoning seems to be negative. The professional planners in their literature and their lectures are oriented towards apartments and row houses as the “highest and best use” of land. But suburban 46  For a critique of the “single family neighbourhood” see Dolores Hayden, 1 984, Redesigning the American Dream: The Future of Housing, Work and Family Life, New York: WW Norton. Planning for Surrey, op.cit. p.33.  77 residential can be much more than non-urban... The people of North America have amply proven over the past thirty years that they want suburban living. Surrey is admirably located to supply that desire for suburban living. But we won’t get suburban communities unless Council and municipal officials widen their viewpoint, which at present concentrates on urban and non-urban. With a positive approach we can have communities which are self supporting in total tax revenue and expenditure, and which can provide a better way of life than either rural or urban 49 communities. An alternative vision of “suburban” was recognized only in principle by council: Ideally, areas should be provided in which true suburban living can be experienced, if suburban living can be defined as the pursuit of activities such as hobby farming or the mere enjoyment of open space on one’s own property, which are not particularly appropriate for purely urban or ° 5 farming areas. The placement of the “suburban” in Surrey was contested; not through challenges to modernist planning, but through discussions of secession.  A  number of secession movements dominated the political scene throughout 51 a product partially of dissatisfaction with current the 1960s and 1970s, representations of suburban space in Surrey.  To many, Surrey was a  municipality too disparate to remain as one: Surrey’s local government, try as it may, never can satisfy all the sprawling communities within its boundaries. Surrey’s got populated Whalley and Guildford, which have attracted many of the new suburbanites. The rural Port Kells area in the northeast, Newton towards the centre, Cloverdale, home of the “cowboys” out east towards Langley. The South Surrey peninsula with the expensive homes of Crescent Beach. Plus a dozen other places and 52 miles of farmland or sprawl. -  48 49 50 51  Editorial, Surrey Leader, April 2, 1964, p. . 2 ibid. Perspective ‘81, op.cit. p.54. McKinnon notes that between 1 955 and 1 970 six different secession movements existed in Surrey: “Changes shaped Surrey” Surrey Leader, August 1, 1 979, p. 1 9 supplement. 52 Vancouver Sun, December 8, 1971, p. . 17  78 The vision promulgated by Surrey Council that I have just outlined was seen to be a spatially specific one, expressive of the “northern” bias of council and disregarding of the more rural lifestyles and concerns of those living in South Surrey. Part of the problem was money: too many resources, it was alleged, were being fed into the urbanized areas of Whalley and Guildford. 53 Another issue was representation, for those on council’s “Surrey horizon rarely strays east of Johnston Road nor south of 72nd Avenue.” 54  Even those living in  urban areas in South Surrey were dissatisfied. According to one resident, his home area of Ocean Park was seen as “second cousins and poor cousins of the rest of Surrey  ...  with the representation we have on Surrey council  55 The rationalizing impulse itself was not today, everything is going north”. the subject of criticism. case North Surrey  -  Instead, the landscape created in its image  -  in this  was identified as the cause of the problems.  Consequently, a spatial solution that distanced “suburban” Surreyites from the other meanings and influences of Surrey was advocated: secession. For instance, in 1966 an organization calling itself the Surrey Re-Alignment Association proposed a three way division of Surrey. The first area would be Whalley-Guildford-Newton, which would be a separate city; the second would be an expansion of White Rock to include Crescent Beach, Elgin and Sunnyside; and the rest 56 Municipality.  -  suburban and farm communities  -  would be Surrey  It was implied that a truly suburban community, and the  53  “Request plebiscite on secession scheme” Surrey Leader, April 21, 1966. Interestingly, financial motives were also central when White Rock seceded from Surrey in 1957. As a predominantly urban space, property taxes in White Rock would be lower if they didn’t have to help finance the construction of services in the rest of Surrey. McKinnon, “Keeping tab” Surrey Leader, November 28, 1963, p. . See 3 also “Sunnyside cautious concerning secession Surrey Leader, April 7, 1966, p.1. Resident J.Kapalka in “Secession is urged for South Surrey area”, Surrey Leader, February 17, 1966, p. . 1 56 “Three way division proposed for Surrey” Surrey Leader, July 7, 1966, . 1 p. “,  79 authentic Surrey, was to be found halfway between urban and rural, incorporating much of north and central Surrey and excluding the urbanized north and south sectors.  These urban communities of Whalley and White  Rock were to be separate entities, since they deviated from the “true” Surrey.  The history of Surrey, and its already existing pattern of land use  and its cultural meaning, thus led to the contestation not of the theme of rationality, but to the places created in its image, which were seen to deviate from the “true” Surrey. These debates over Surrey and suburb, however, had limited purchase on  the  way  residential  representations  of  space  development are  in  equal,  Surrey  their  interconnections with other lines of power.  proceeded.  force  depends  all  Not on  their  In Surrey in the 1960s the grid  imposed by council and the desires of developers to maximize profits fused to 57 Following the formal delineation of produce a particular type of landscape. urban growth areas, many new houses were built, concentrated in Whalley. The urban landscape produced at this time continued to be one of predominantly single family dwellings. standards,  averaging twelve hundred  58 thousand dollars to build.  These houses were small by today’s square feet and costing thirteen  Commensurate with the spatial channeling and  encouragement of urban development, an increasing number of apartments were being built in Whalley and Guildford. In 1969, for instance, of the 1400 apartment units in Surrey, 1200 were in Whalley and along the Whalley Guildford border.  Again, however, we can see fissures in rational-scientific  discourse, since it encompassed a number of possibly competing ideals. Apartments fulfilled  the rational  57  spatial plans of the municipality,  but  Secession movements were not directly played out at local elections since Surrey’s council members were elected “at-large” rather than according to where they lived there was no ward system. 58 See “Construction zooms high” Surrey Leader, April 28, 1966. -  80 challenged its basis in familial ideology.  In particular, it was becoming  evident that apartments housed children as well as adults.  This violated the  principles outlined above, namely that families should live in detached dwellings.  Some were angry at this, especially Mayor Ed McKitka, who  argued that “we will never get development of homes, if all we encourage is 59 this type [apartments] of development”.  He favoured limiting apartments  to one or two bedrooms, on the assumption that then children wouldn’t live there. Council and planners were not the only makers of suburban Surrey, for,  true to the  principles espoused  in  Perspective  ‘81,  development  ° In terms of 6 corporations became more active in developing Surrey’s land. developers and development sites, Guildford Town Centre and its surrounding residential areas were the prime shapers of the Surrey landscape at this 61 time.  Proposed by Grosvenor Laing, who began assembling land after the  Port Mann bridge opened in 1963,62 a city, Guildford Garden City, was planned, with a commercial heart anchored by the two major department stores of Eaton’s and Woodward’s.  It was designed to halt the sprawling  development of Surrey by providing the downtown magnet that Surrey never had.  The Guildford development, it was hoped, would concentrate services  and housing in a small area.  To achieve this concentration the spatial  division of Surrey marked by the Official Community Plan, and in particular “Drown the kids to live in Surrey”, Surrey Leader, December 21, 1967, . 1 p. 60 See also “Big builders scout Surrey”, Surrey Leader, July 14, 1 966, p.1. 61 For an overview of the effect of Guildford on residential development, see J.Everitt, 1981, “Recent land conversion on the urban fringe of Surrey, BC” in K.B.Beesley and L.H.Russwurm, eds. The Rural-Urban Fringe: Canadian Perspectives, Geographical Monograph no.10, Atkinson College: York University, pp.292-313. 62 E.M.Gibson, 1976, “The Urbanization of the Strait of Georgia Region: A Study of the Impact of urbanization on the Natural Resources of Southwestern British Columbia” Lands Directorate: Environment Canada, Ottawa, p.4.1.  81 the principle of one use to one piece of land, was to be violated. new type  of  zoning  was  suggested  by  the  planning  Instead, a  department,  a  “comprehensive development permit” where a parcel of land would be treated as one and many types of zoning allowed within it. 63  Despite  objections from councillors who thought the new principle was a backward step  -  “we have been creating separate zones for commercial, industry,  recreation etc. and now we are talking about lumping them all together” 64 was soon approved.  -  it  According to Grosvenor Laing, mixed uses, and  especially the row housing disliked by councillors was necessary to create an 65 “urban townscape”. What later became known as the Guildford town centre disrupted the Surrey landscape and the planners’ vision in many ways.  Foremost among  these was the arrival of big developers in Surrey who planned Surrey space in 66 Relatedly, Guildford also very different ways from small holder subdividers. heralded different perceptions of space.  In order to make both money and a  new type of town for Surrey, perceptions of space and the material organization of space had to be altered by Grosvenor Laing.  The land was  67 lot sizes and configurations were altered so that the land could “replotted”: be sold and developed in different parcels than the original survey. To summarize, the early period of consolidated urban growth in Surrey was characterized by attempts to impose a rational, spatialized, order on the 63 64  “Council studies style for zoning”, Surrey Leader, August 3, 1967, p. . 1 “Council endorses new type of zoning”, Surrey Leader, August 10, 1967, p.8. 65 “Guildford gets ok for housing”, Surrey Leader, August 17, 1967, p. . 1 66 In the British context, Michael Ball notes that different forms of building enterprise build very different landscapes because of access to finance, land, and level of risk aversion. See Michael BalI, 1 983, Housing Policy and Economic Power: The Political Economy of Owner Occupation, London and New York: Methuen. 67 Replotting had long been an issue for larger corporations, for “these long, skinny lots create bottlenecks in area development”. See “Editorial: replotting of property”, Surrey Leader, July 28, 1966, p. . 2  82  pattern of land use created by decades of haphazard subdivision and building. Council and planners presented a unitary vision of Surrey, consisting of discrete neighbourhoods and towns, populated by families and providing model communities in which to raise children. The resultant map (Figure 3.3) of Surrey reflected these socio-spatial visions, modified slightly in line with the historical geography of Surrey. Importantly, however, different notions of suburb were already evident in the landscape: truly suburban areas, the traditional single-family zone, and the nascent town centre of Guildford. The Surrey definition of suburban as a rural-urban interface, however, was obliterated by these plans.  Although contested by those who had more  “rural” visions, this remained the framework that guided much of the urban growth between 1965 and 1972.  Residents, in search of space and cheap  housing, continued to move to Surrey. If residents were concerned about the pace of growth in the late 1 960s, a crescendo of concern was to be heard throughout the 1 970s, as the legislative, economic, ideological and spatial climate of suburban Surrey changed dramatically. Ill. 1970s  -  Rampant Growth and Cheap Housing  During the  1 970s the  pattern  established  Community Plan was firmly entrenched.  by the  1 966  Official  Residential development was  concentrated in the designated urban centres, with denser development nodally distributed in the centres of Whalley, Guildford, Cloverdale and the district created by Southmere.  The production and meaning of suburban  space in Surrey, was gradually changing, however. can  Two important motifs  be identified: growth pressure and the varied responses to it that  changed the character of Surrey; and the changing legislative and planning framework.  Together, they redefined Surrey as a place of cheap and,  83 arguably, substandard and homogeneous housing.  It is in the 1970s that  Surrey most closely resembles the tract development seen to characterize 68 Indeed, Surrey as the epitome of post second world war suburbanization. suburban monotony was popularized by a discussion in a widely cited 69 Canadian urban textbook.  Again, however, these processes operated in  place-specific terms. The  institution  of  a  new  legislative  framework  governing  the  development of land in British Columbia in 1 972 dramatically changed the shape of Surrey.  Previously, development occurred in the context of rigid  70 More to the zoning laws that did not allow a mixture of uses side-by-side. point, the municipality alone governed property and land development. these  practices  were changed  under  1972  provincial  legislation.  Both All  development had to occur under the auspices of a land use contract (LUC) between a developer and council that stipulated the agreed upon uses of a piece of land, and the amount of money the developer was to pay the municipality.  With LUCs the burden of paying for subdivision servicing  shifted from council to the developer/subdivider. used  LUCs,  to  the  extent that  some  alleged  Surrey Municipality freely that  council  extracted  71 unreasonable amounts from developers. The advent of LUCs meant that the pace of growth quickened, from 500 dwellings in 1970 to over 2000 in 1975 (see Figure 3.4), with single family dwellings remaining most common. The effects of this boom were felt 68  Herbert Gans, 1 967, The Levittowners: Ways of Life and Politics in a New Suburban Community, New York: Random House. 69 See John N. Jackson, 1973, The Canadian City: Space, Form, Quality, New York: McGraw Hill, p.202. 70 Guildford Town Centre was the exception. 71 David Dale-Johnson, 1 981, Greater Vancouver Regional District Land Use Regulation Study: An Evaluation of the Land Use Approval Process in Coguitlam, Surrey and Vancouver, Working paper # 1 5, Economic Council of Canada, p.56.  84 long after the demise of LUCs in 1 978, as previously approved projects were built. and  In the month before LUCs were repealed in 1 978, council met often approved  an  unprecedented  number  of  development  proposals.  Examples are a small-lot subdivision of 1 21 single-family lots in Fleetwood, 72 approval for 576 housing units built by Marathon Realty in Ocean Park, and a 73 As such, LUCs spawned a 11 3 lot subdivision by Wolstencroft in Newton. number of different types (mixed versus single use) and sizes (from ten lots to 600 lots) of residential development.  Residential growth continued to be  spatially differentiated, as seen in Figure 3.4. The dominance of Whalley as a site of new construction peaked in 1971, and by the end of the decade Newton was attracting increasing development. South Surrey was also rising in prominence, a trend I consider explicitly in the next section.  72  “Small-lot project okay for Fleetwood”, Surrey Leader, November 1 5, 1978, p. . 7 73 “Awesome rezoning changes”, Surrey Leader, October 25, 1978, p.1.  NEW APARTMENTS  85  1400  1200 1000  800  ....  .•:  -  -  ...  -  -  600  400  ....  -  -  200..  1971  1972  1973  • Wb11ey  1974  Guildfotd  •  .  1975  1976  Newton  : Cloverdale  1977  1978  1979  S.Suney  NEW TOWNHOUSES 600  500  400  300  2O0}  lo:j  1971  1972 Whailey  1973  1974  Gu6dford  1975 Newton  iIii 1976  1978  1977  Cloverdale  —  1979  S.Surrey  NEW SINGLE FAMILY DWELLINGS 2500  2000  1500  1000  500  0  1 iEIi i IIi 1971  1972  Whalley  1973  1974  Guildford  1975  Newton  1976  1977  CIov.le  1978  •  1979  S.Surrey  Figure 3.4. Residential Construction in Surrey, 1971-1979 Source: Surrey Planning Department Files.  86 Despite diversity,  the dominant spatial formation  envisioned  produced within LUCs was Surrey as a place of cheap housing.  and  Within the  regional planning discourses promulgated in the Greater Vancouver Regional District’s (GVRD) 1 975 Livable Region Plan, Surrey was envisaged as an urban growth area. 74 As expressed by then Mayor, Ed McKitka, the Livable Region Plan was a tool for Vancouver and Burnaby to secure industry and commercial development, “with the outer ring of the municipality providing the low cost housing, the parks and green space”. 75  In effect, it was the  GVRD’s intention that Surrey was to provide housing for those who couldn’t afford to live elsewhere in the Lower Mainland.  Within public discourse,  those governing Surrey attempted to contest this view. They wanted Surrey to become more than a repository of urban growth, to no longer be Vancouver’s bedroom. 76  To them, Surrey should also have industry,  commerce and a diversity of lifestyles: “Surrey is a community looking for a heart of its own as it tries to change its image of being just another bedroom suburb of Vancouver”. 77 As put by Deputy Planner Lee Tan: We are trying to establish a self-sufficient community, with not only homes but jobs, commercial centres, recreational facilities and the other facilities that are essential to create 78 a total community. The confluence of regional (GVRD), provincial (LUCs), and Federal (Assisted Home Ownership Plan  -  AHOP) government policies produced  Surrey as a place for cheap housing by facilitating large-scale development.  Greater Vancouver Regional District, 1 975, The Livable Region: From the 70s to the 80s, Vancouver: GVRD Planning Department. 75 “$60,000 houses Surrey minimum”, Surrey Leader, July 29, 1976, p.1. 76 Letter to editor by Aid. J. O’Brien-Bell, “Surrey doesn’t wish to be dormitory”, Province, March 22, 1976, p. . 4 “Strong heart vital to quicken suburbs pulse”, Vancouver Sun, 13/10/79, p.A7. 78 ibid.  87 AHOP was instituted in 1 973 and ran until 1 978. Its aim was to help low income families purchase their own home, but contained strict limits on the size and cost of the home bought. Over a third of AHOP housing built in the Lower Mainland was built in Surrey, primarily because land prices were so low, keeping the total cost of the house well within the limits set by the CMHC. Defining Surrey as a repository of urban growth worried both planners and council: they were concerned that the cost of the houses would not be sufficient to provide services such as schools and recreational facilities.  In  response to this, in 1 976 Surrey council passed a by-law stating that all new homes must be at least twelve hundred square feet, and therefore cost about sixty thousand dollars. Two justifications were made for this move. The first was to ensure that property taxes on homes were enough to cover the costs of services, and the second was to give more “breathing space to Surrey, where residential construction has been climbing fantastically this year”. ° 8 This ban sparked debate that can be understood in terms of competing definitions of Surrey and suburban. The Vancouver media, labelling the ban “the Surrey problem” was quick to denounce it: “the route Surrey council is taking alone is politically and socially unacceptable. 81 discrimination”.  The impression is one of unacceptable, shabby  The Sun seems to be implying here that it was Surrey’s  job to maintain growth and provide cheap housing.  It is also indicative of a  naturalization of real estate processes: a market imposed ban that made AHOP housing impossible in the middle-class West Side of Vancouver was 79  See the appendix in J. Miron, ed. 1993, House Home and Community: Progress in Housing Canadians, 1 945-86, Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press. 80 “$60,000 houses Surrey minimum”, Surrey Leader, July 29, 1976, . 1 p. 81 “The Surrey problem”, Vancouver Sun, August 25, 1976, . 4 p.  88 not commented upon.  The CMHC also disagreed with the ban, although  addressed the debate on Surrey’s terms.  They thought that the ban would  compound, not fix, Surrey’s tax problems. 82 In a climate of concern for property values, local property owners saw AHOP housing as problematic in terms of homogeneity and lifestyle.  All  these sentiments were expressed in one discussion of a subdivision planned for 1 28th Street and 1 04th Avenue.  Residents thought that smaller lots (a  corollary of AHOP housing) would devalue their property and threaten their single family lifestyle.  “We came here to get away from that kind of  83 they argued, and “the single family atmosphere here is being housing”, 84 eroded”. house  type  AHOP housing seemed to threaten the natural relation between and  familial  social  relations,  conflicting  constructions of Surrey as a family and “quiet” place. 85  with  residents’  At the same time,  however, opposition to the minimum house size regulation alleged that increasing the minimum house size put home ownership beyond the reach of 86 The ban therefore “young couples” who wanted to “start out in Surrey”. threatened Surrey’s identity as a place for young families.  Developers  responded to these claims on similar terms, saying that AHOP purchasers were different, but only in that they were younger and had fewer children. 87 It was also thought that small lots and small houses necessarily spelt sameness.  82 83 84 85 86 87  In addition to the size restriction council also passed a by-law  “Small home ban to boomerang, Surrey told”, Province, July 30, 1 976, p.29. “Protestors force council to pause”, Surrey Leader, March 1, 1978, p. . 1 “Compact housing gets single family opposition”, Surrey Leader, June 17, 1981, p.A10. “Green Timbers folk battle development”, Surrey Leader, April 21, 1977, . 1 p. “Surrey homes non-conforming”, Surrey Leader, August 26, 1976, p.1. The quotes are from the president of Qualico Developments. “Surrey to decide on house layout” Surrey Leader, July 22, 1 976, p. . 1  89 requiring that a house exterior not be repeated within 200 feet, 88 emblematic of a view that “a mixed community is more natural, more livable”. 89 A photo essay in the Surrey Leader clearly articulated these concerns, viewing AHOP housing as a “threat to individuality”: rows and rows of the darn things squeezed out as if from some giant toothpaste tube gone mad. Like so many cabbages growing on a field squeezed together, irrigated, fertilized, distributed, advertised, graded and consumed. 90 Design critiques were also combatted on the basis of cost and historical evolution: There are several “look-alike” subdivisions in Surrey that we were all upset about ten, fifteen years ago. Now this family has added a carport, that one redesigned the windows. The shrubs and trees have softened the overall impression and added individuality. 91 The AHOP debate in Surrey, stimulated by the convergence of a number of elements producing Surrey as a repository of urban growth, also demonstrates the copresence and contestation of different conceptions of Surrey and suburb.  Where, for instance, the definition of Surrey as a  repository of urban growth conflicted with its identity as a family place, contestation, invariably through spatial motifs, ensued.  Simultaneously,  homogeneous, tract-like development was seen to be inappropriate for Surrey.  88 89  “Council passes housing controls”, Surrey Leader, March 8, 1976, p.3. “Editorial: changes need in Surrey planning”, Surrey Leader, July 28, 1977, p.4.. 90 Dan Propp, “Housing a threat to individuality” Surrey Leader, July 22, 1976, p. . 5 91 “Editorial: new housing policies needed”, Surrey Leader, June 3, 1976, p.2.  90 IV. Surrey goes “up-market”: Developing South Surrey 1972  -  1985  Changes in South Surrey during the 1970s are also indicative of the spatial differentiation of Surrey and different visions of it.  Although AHOP  housing and industry were earmarked for north, not south, Surrey, 92 the towns within South Surrey were also the destination of substantial residential development during this period, seen in Figure 3.4 above. The South Surrey story of the 1 970s consists of an accommodation between place-specific and more general visions. South Surrey is and has been positioned as “different” within Surrey along a number of axes. One of these is class, and its related lifestyle traits. As summarized by one recent description: South Surrey is arts and crafts heaven. Residents there say they have such different lifestyles from those in north Surrey that they identify more with the separate, bordering city of White Rock, which models itself after the cliffhugging artist town of Sausalito, California. “There are more self-published poets and craft types per square inch in South Surrey than any other place I know”, says Sam Roddan, a retired Crescent Beach teacher. 93 As home to many of the founding agricultural families, and as site of an elite acreage and equestrian-based residential lifestyle, the residents of South Surrey and Panorama Ridge have often laid claim to being the “original” and “authentic” Surreyites.  More importantly, the mixture of rural and urban  living seen to prevail in South Surrey was represented as ideal for raising children:  92  Although this was primarily because land values in South Surrey were too high, it was also partially cultural to the extent that land values were high because of its cultural meaning, as I explain in this section. Douglas Todd, 1 984, “Surrey may yet have the last laugh”, Vancouver Sun, December 4, p. Bi.  91 Here was a pastoral, uncluttered community in which the children could grow up surrounded with the last remains of nature and yet near the city. 94 Such pastoral living was threatened, however, in a series of studies and recommendations on South Surrey presented to council in the early 1 970s.  Ostensibly advocating residential development of the South Surrey  peninsula to its “maximum capacity”, these reports exhibit the rationalizing and modern, abstracting approach to suburbanization that I discussed above. Little regard was paid to the existing uses of the land, its topography, land ownership or the role of developers.  Instead, South Surrey was mapped  solely in terms of its potential for residential development and therefore population growth. 95 The lack of local content and specificity in the South Surrey plans were quickly  pointed  out  by  politically  active  and  articulate  South  Surrey  96 They vehemently opposed the plan on the basis that the type of residents. residential development and density of population proposed was inappropriate to the history, geography, and identity of South Surrey. 97 As a unique place, South Surrey did not accord with the traditional meaning of either urban or suburban: “most of the residents are “refugees” from cities and urbanized suburbs and they are not happy to find that the city is following them out to South Surrey”. 98  These understandings were both spatialized and framed  within definitions of Surrey and suburb.  Growth pressures were seen to  originate in north Surrey: Letter to editor by C.R.Maclean, Surrey Leader, February 11, 1 971, p. . 2 The Corporation of the District of Surrey, Planning Department, 1 974, The South Surrey Plan, October. 96 “Grassroots suggestions on Surrey plan wanted” Province, February 29, 1972, p.21; and “South Surrey residents fight plan” Province March 23, 1972, p. . 21 “Elgin seeks local input” Surrey Leader, February 17, 1972, p.1; and “Vote on secession refused by council”, Surrey Leader, February 1 7, 1972, p. . 1 98 “Zoning protest from Ocean Park”, Surrey Leader, October 25, 1978, p. . 1 95  ‘  92 We’re constantly wondering down here what council is going to dream up next to satisfy the appetite of the north People in the north aren’t attuned to the south. 99 It was as though South Surrey was under attack from the north, which represented growth. Attempts were hence made to ideologically and socially distance South Surrey from the rest of Surrey.  In particular, the designation  “Surrey” became problematic. Instead of the secession earlier advocated, the early 1 980s witnessed calls for changing the name of South Surrey to ° In this way, South Surrey could retain the tax and amenity 10 Semiahmoo. advantages of being part of Surrey, but could also distance itself from the Surrey image.  The class differences between north and south Surrey were  also magnified. South Surrey, and especially isolated developments within it, were compared to the rest of Surrey in a particular way: Montreal has its Westmount; Toronto has its Rosedale; Vancouver its Shaughnessy, Dunbar and West Vancouver On a much smaller scale here in Surrey, Panorama Ridge has developed in that pattern. 101 This debate development  could  emanating  not  ignore,  from  however,  development  pressure for residential corporations.  As  an  accommodation, these images were harnessed to attract a certain sort of residential development to Surrey.  The different class character of South  Surrey was highlighted and promoted in a number of developments like Elgin, Ocean Park and Southmere. These were explicitly designed as affluent, nonSurrey, residential communities. below  as  a  way  of  showing  I detail the development of Southmere the  embeddedness  of  images  in  the  suburbanization process. 9 “Surrey’s 100 “Identity  fringe ragged” The Province, February 11, 1 977, p.10. problem for South Surrey” Surrey Leader, July 21, 1982, p.A1. “Semiahmoo suggested identity for South Surrey” Surrey Leader, May 12, 1982, p.B5. 101 Editorial: a touch of envy” Surrey Leader, June 3, 1981, p.A2.  93  “Southmere  Village”,  155  a  acre  development  the  of  Genstar  Development Company completed between 1978 and 1981 is indicative of this process of appropriation and the creation of place in the making of residential  environments.  The  dissatisfaction  particularly in South Surrey, was re-created.  with  the  Surrey  image,  According to the marketing  brochure’s description of the location of Southmere: Southmere Village is a 1 55 acre site in South Surrey adjacent to the City of White Rock. White Rock is a seaside town which has its origins as a small summer resort and retirement community. Transportation improvements in the Vancouver area over the years have resulted in increasing urbanization of the Semiahmoo Peninsula, which comprises White Rock and South Surrey. The area is becoming more of a residential suburb of Greater 102 Vancouver. The association with Surrey and what is thought of as suburban development is actively downplayed here.  “Surrey” is only mentioned twice, and only  when coupled with “South”, suggesting that even the location of Southmere is different, since it is part of Semiahmoo, a designation that transcends municipal boundaries.  Socially, Southmere is more related to the “seaside  town” of White Rock than suburban Surrey.  Both techniques serve to  distance and distinguish the Southmere development, as well as consolidate the self-representations of generations of South Surrey residents. At the same time, however, Southmere was the product of the type of thinking that had dominated Surrey council throughout the 1 970s that I outlined above.  Built under the auspices of a land use contract that  103 the “provides more flexibility for innovation than a typical zoning bylaw”, development is notable for its demarcation of space and concordant social 102  The following discussion is based on an interview with the developers of Southmere, Genstar Corporation, as well as advertising material for the development. 103 Marketing pamphlet: Southmere Village  94 relations.  A prime objective of the project was to “create a viable town  centre for White Rock/South Surrey” by mixing commercial, residential and recreational facilities. This mix was explicitly spatial, consisting of: a commercial hub comprising some 30 acres, at the southeast corner of the site. The residential land uses are arranged in rings of decreasing density as one moves away from the town centre. Two major park sites form focal points in the plan, one of which contains the two stormwater lakes. 104 Social mix and heterogeneity were built into the plan, not because of any desire to create a more equal society, but because different uses would spread the risk of the investment, and the commercial areas were needed in the area.  However, different spaces were not to have a variety of uses, but  only one, conforming to the dominant vision promulgated by council. Finally, a sense of place was crucial in the development, a policy evident in the Genstar slogan of “Bringing land to life!”.  Using the entire  parcel of land with its “natural boundaries”, Genstar were trying to create a “distinctive community” with a coherent identity.  Each residential “enclave”  was to have its own image and sense of place, as was the commercial development, forming a focus for White Rock and South Surrey. Design, and particularly the lakes and entrances were part of this, communicating the feeling that Southmere was independent and different.  Design guidelines,  selection of a few builders and covenants restricting use of stucco and other “lower class” building materials were used to “ensure quality” and maintain a particular, class-based sense of place. A familiarity with developments like Southmere helps demonstrate the importance of imbuing a space with meaning as part of the process of residential development, meaning that often builds upon and re-creates 104 Marketing pamphlet: Southmere Village  95 indigenous images.  In the Southmere case, discontent within South Surrey  and its ideological distance from North Surrey were drawn upon to produce a landscape whose general form and the process of development had been an anathema to residents, but whose particulars were accepted, even embraced. This brings me to my final point in relation to Southmere,  how the  coalescence of a number of factors in South Surrey in the 1 970s and 1 980s produced a particular type of landscape.  Both Surrey and suburb were  defined in narrow and local ways that distanced them from the perceived homogeneity and working class basis of the rest of Surrey.  As a result, a  new form of suburban development, peculiar to South Surrey, was created. V. House Price Inflation and a New Community Plan: Redefining the Suburban Landscape, 1980  -  1990  The early 1 980s were a period of instability in the history of Surrey and a time of flux in terms of defining the suburban landscape.  The vision  articulated by the 1966 OCP was being challenged on many fronts, the Land Use Contract legislation had been repealed in 1 978, and development was occurring in an uncoordinated way and at a great pace in many localities, particularly Fleetwood and Newton.  Growth continued to be a concern of  both council and residents, so much so that council wanted to impose a two month freeze on all rezoning applications. 105  Residents felt growth was  impeding improvements in their quality of life and was not attuned to their 106 needs.  Further, the municipality remained under pressure from both the  regional and provincial governments to shape development along distinctive 105  “Freeze on development rejected by aldermen”, Surrey Leader, December 17, 1980, p.A1. 106 “Not a vintage night for Surrey developers”, Surrey Leader, Nov. 12, 1980, p.A1; and “Editorial: why we’re subdividing”, Surrey Leader, September 3, 1 980, p.A4.  96 lines and come up with a new community plan.  A further impetus for  rethinking Surrey’s spaces and development path was provided by the volatility of the Lower Mainland housing market. The building boom propelled by the end of the LUC era dissipated, to be replaced by a shortage of building lots and new houses.  Figure 3.5, for instance, shows the minute number of  houses built in the early 1980s. 107  A massive increase in house prices  followed: a two storey, four bedroom house that cost $94,000 in 1980 would cost $170,000 in 1981.108  Yet the spectre and materiality of high  interest rates (with some homeowners forced to renegotiate their mortgages at twenty two percent) and the opening up of land for development in other municipalities led to prices plummeting in July of 1 982: average house prices fell from a high of $120,000 in 1981 to $80,000 in 1982.  It was in this  context that council attempted to articulate a new community plan and new visions of space and Surrey. Promised since 1 978, a new community plan was finally unveiled in The modernist tenet that any planning is  1 983 and revised again in 1 986.  better than no planning remained: “Without a plan, Surrey could be like an unorchestrated symphony  -  with  contribute to overall harmony”. 109  a plan,  actions  can  The means by which this harmony was  achieved were different from the 1 966 OCP. assumed greater significance.  many individual  Aesthetic and social concerns  In determining residential land use, for  instance, the major factor was “the desired pattern for a community and the 110 type of lifestyle the community prefers”. guidelines remained, but as a template. 107 108 109 110  In effect, rational planning  They were (more obviously than in  Data for housing other than single family is not available. “Surrey house prices soaring”, Surrey Leader, February 25, 1981, p.B3. Surrey Official Community Plan tabloid. Corporation of the District of Surrey, 1983, Official Community Plan, Surrey; p.131.  97 the 1 960s) expressed through and modified by a concern with the specific social and physical context of Surrey.  This can be seen in the “overall  concept” and the plans for individual towns. The hallmark of the 1983 Official Community Plan was its “overall concept” that called for nodal development in the form of “identifiable and concentrated  urban  communities  shown in Figure 3.6.111  separated  by  suburban  communities”,  Unlike 1966 the impetus for these nodes was not  servicing costs, but the perceived aesthetic problems of sprawl: It has been a long-standing policy in Surrey to develop distinct towns. This is a policy which distinguishes Surrey from many other municipalities in the GVRD which have opted for an even spread of suburban subdivision instead. In those communities the suburban pattern stretches without much relief from one end to the other. This results in urban developments abutting the ALR [Agricultural Land Reserve] without transition, and yet the overall density is so low that the conveniences of urban life can only be reached 1 12 by automobiles. However, the urban, and by implication agricultural areas were seen to have their basis not in rational planning but in nature: distinct urban communities have developed on the highlands of Surrey, most of them have clearly defined natural boundaries in the form of ridges, creeks and ravines which provide a natural transition between the urban 113 communities and the rural land around the rivers.  111 112 113  Official Community Plan, or.cit. p.129. Official Community Plan, on.cit. p.129. Official Community Plan, on.cit. p.32.  98  NEW APARTMENTS 1000  750  ------—-—---  99* :-4n  500  25:  1981  1982  WIialley  I  1983  1984  Gu*dford  1985  Fleetwood  I 1986  1987  1988  f Newton  I  1989  1990  •  Cmv  1991  S.Suney  NEW TOWNHOUSES 1500  1250  .---.....---....  1000  .-  ---.-  -  -...  ....-  750  500  . . ._  ...-.--.--  -  25: 1981  1982  Whi1ey  1983  I  1984  Goildford  1985  Fleetwood  1986  1987  Newton  1988  1989  1990  •  Cmv  1991  S.Sutrey  NEW SINGLE FAMILY DWELLINGS 3500  3000 2500  -  -  2000 1500 1000 500  0  -  E 1981  Whalley  1982 ‘  1983  Guildford  1984  1985  Fleetwood  1986  1987  Newton  1988  Cloy  1989  1990  •  1991  S.Surrey  Figure 3.5. Residential Construction in Surrey, 1980-1992 Source: Surrey Planning Department Files.  99  CORE AREA  Rtrjt  ‘AMIjJ AREA  AJRRN  AREA  AURUROAR AREA ROAR ROtA  J  GOCON APACE AO 0 IC ALT A P AL.  RE  CCL  0  RE  0 o CCL  RE 0 CCL  Figure 3.6. “Overall Concept”, 1983 Official Community Plan Source: Corporation of the District of Surrey, 1 983, Official Community Plan, Surrey, p.279.  100 Although the view of land as a resource and as potential profit remained, these views melded with others that were seen to emanate specifically from Surrey.  Given that “each area in Surrey has grown and  developed in an individual fashion”, 1 14 and that this individuality was valued, then it followed, according to the plan, that this individuality should be a component of subsequent development.  In particular, community identity  and image were to be actively fostered: The plan for Surrey intends to create communities. Communities should be identifiable and each should have a 1 15 focus. Consequently, each town was to have its own theme or image, within which residential development would occur.  The space the plan envisioned and  subsequently produced was a patchwork, where: a great variety of environments is accessible to many people, where different landscapes are close at hand and 116 can be enjoyed even without living within them. Urban, suburban and agricultural land uses were to be spatially contiguous, within a nodal pattern created around the five major centres.  In this way, a  variety of opportunities for suburban living in Surrey were offered.  Not only  were social relations stretched across the municipality, but so too were the concepts of Surrey and suburb.  They embodied a number of different  meanings, and signified diversity, encapsulating a set of possible lifestyles, identities, social relations and spatial formations. became part of the Surrey plan.  Five town plans thence  Each town had its own character drawing  on this heritage: Cloverdale as agricultural, South Surrey “suburban”, Fraser Height’s separation from Surrey, Whalley as a downtown. 114 115 116  Official Community Plan, or.cit. p.75. Official Community Plan, op.cit. p.131. Official Community Plan, op.cit. p.129.  101 It is important to point out that this concept of diversity was narrowly conceived.  The primacy of family and the assumed relation between house  type and family form persisted.  The stated desire for social heterogeneity  was not enforced through zoning. Instead: Surrey will continue to consider the indicators of a free housing market as a suitable expression of the social preferences of its present and future residents. 117 Diversity,  by  both  council  and  developers,  however,  was  considered  narrowly: ground-oriented townhouses with minimal property should be incorporated in neighbourhoods to allow older people to stay. Younger singles could stay if apartments were provided. In a strictly single family neighbourhood, however, apartment buildings are, at this stage in Surrey’s development, a disruptive element. 118 Note that first, the single family neighbourhood is the baseline, the assumed given, and that second, diversity is conceived only in terms of stage in the life course. Race, class and sexuality were absent, as was the possibility that families would live in townhouses or the elderly in detached dwellings. Although broader than the 1 966 OCP, a limited conception of difference prevailed. This Official Community Plan also drew set boundaries within Surrey, unlike  the  negotiation.  1 966 The  OCP  whose  categories  boundaries were  were  hardened  and  subject fixed,  to  continual  setting  strict  boundaries for development in that land designated urban etc. was to formally remain that way unless an official amendment to the OCP was made. It also made development within these boundaries easier, for as long as the proposed use accorded with the zoning, it would be approved. The impact of 117 118  Official Community Plan, o.cit. p. 225. Official Community Plan, op.cit. p. 225.  102 the plan was substantial. It was immediately followed by a building boom, as the uncertainty surrounding its contents dissipated.  In 1 989 the greatest  number of dwellings in Surrey’s history were built, seen in Figure 3.5. Compared to the 1 960s, Whalley was no longer dominant, but the majority of housing was built in Guildford, Fleetwood and Newton. The Boundary Park development, officially part of Newton and begun in 1985, was part of this post OCP boom.  It demonstrates some of these  themes of place identity, social mix and visions of space/Surrey/suburb. The fate of the parcel of land upon which it was to be built was subject to much discussion, a result partly of the more formal public approval process established by the OCP.  West Newton residents were vocal in their  opposition, since they wanted the land to remain suburban. 119 However, the OCP designated the land urban, facilitating the development.  The proposal  was finally approved in 1985 “after years of battling for council approval” and consultation with West Newton residents. ° 12  Consisting of 110 acres  and 500 dwellings by the time it was completed in 1989, the creation of a sense  of place was central.  However, this sense was drawn from its  surroundings. Consequently, existing community identity was integral to the project in complex ways. Genstar tried to negate the image of West Newton, which at that time was known as a place of wet t-shirt competitions, by building an “upscale” residential community.  They also tried to create a  coherent community, with a lake as a focal point.  The spatial form of this  community had to conform to the surrounding land uses.  The project  therefore had a gradation of density, high in the north to mirror the commercial boundary there, and low in the south near Panorama Ridge (see 119  “Genstar proposals rouse controversy”, Surrey Leader, April 27, 1983, p.A3. 120 “Genstar development crosses another hurdle after hearing”, Surrey Leader, May 30, 1984, p.A2.  103 Figure 3.7).  This “density gradient” also illustrates the vision of difference  expressed.  The varying lot sizes provided were interpreted in terms of  different family types and different demands for open space by families.  A  comparison of Southmere and Boundary Park, both designed by the same person with similar goals but under different planning visions and in different parts of Surrey, is instructive for showing the different spatial visions and formations resulting from the 1 983 OCR Although Southmere certainly drew on the specific image of South Surrey, the local, micro-geography was more explicitly part of the building of Boundary Park.  Cl)  CD  C  C)  0  -‘  Co  D  C,)  CD  0.  >  -‘  0)  -o  -‘  C D 0  0  CD  1  0  z  -v  -I  -v  -I  0  CD  -I  a,  0  Scale:  —  •  sq.  ft.  MF  0 metres  MF  MF  sq.  ft.  Boundary  14000 sq. ft.  Development  lots:  lots: 7100 10000  lots: 6000  lots: 4000-5000 sq.ft.  Multi-Family  Legend  400  N  Parkside Place  MF  MF  Northpark Cresent  .  .  r  Park  .. .  r  Park  I  I  _______________________  0  105 The 1 980s, then, were a period of changing meaning in Surrey. A new OCP continued the rational planning of the previous decades, albeit couched in somewhat more aesthetic terms.  As a result, the uniqueness of Surrey  was supposed to be drawn upon in residential development, exemplified in developments like Boundary Park.  Cemented during this period were the  multiple meanings of the signifiers Surrey and suburb.  Surrey came to  represent diversity (albeit limited socially), in terms of both the Community Plan and the residential environments constructed.  In effect, the meaning of  space in Surrey changed to take account of indigenous or local meanings. The resultant land use was therefore a compromise between the two representations of space.  Relatedly, enshrined by the late 1 980s was the  spatial differentiation of different conceptions of suburbs within Surrey. Northern Surrey was, in Surrey parlance, urban, consisting of single-family residential communities with some high density concentrations.  Fraser  Heights, in which the first case study is located, was to be solely single family and South Surrey the more “up-market” variants of both of these. The Surrey definition of suburban as in-between urban and rural was maintained through its spatial allocation to particular parcels of land.  The original white  settlers’ meaning of Surrey as agricultural land was also preserved in the Agricultural Land Reserve. These trends, nascent in the late 1 980s, were to form the basis of the production of space in Surrey up to the present. VI. Remaking and Re-imaging Surrey 1985  -  1993  A re-evaluation of the Surrey image, along the lines envisaged in the OCP, characterizes the period from the late 1 980s to the present. Imaginings and material constructions of space were re-thought along at least three axes: media representations; residential constructions and images of place  106 and space; and the attempt to “citify” Surrey by making Whalley a high density, downtown core.  All three motifs exhibit the modification of  suburban ideals in Surrey and form an immediate context for the case studies that follow. In contrast to earlier, derogatory representations of Surrey, this was a time of flux in terms of images, with the diversity of Surrey being acknowledged, even celebrated.  In the Surrey Leader, for instance, Surrey  was described as “colorful and unpredictable 121 ”, and its representation in crime statistics criticized. 122  Surrey voices were increasingly heard in the  Vancouver-centred media, both officially  -  “Surrey is one big, beautiful  municipality and we’re going to be acknowledged as such” 123  -  and by  residents: You will find the daisies and buttercups growing in wild, tangled masses on vacant lots reminiscent of a pre-housing Vancouver landscape. You will find frogponds and other earthly captivations mesmerizing your six year old longer than any concrete amusements ever did. 14 These  pioneering  represented.  efforts  shifted  the  terrain  upon  which  Surrey  was  The diversity of Surrey, as a place, is now recognized and is  becoming part of Vancouver geographical imaginations. As it was put in  fl  Province: There are residential areas in South Surrey that are just like high-class areas of West Vancouver, and we have real working-class neighbourhoods in the north end. We’ve got a cowtown out in Cloverdale, which is very much a farming 121  “Reporter writes in defence of Surrey”, Surrey Leader, August 4, 1989, p.A4. 122 “Editorial: wild west mentality”, Surrey Leader, Mar 13, 1985, p.A6. 123 Bonnie Schrenk in “Never having to say from Surrey”, Vancouver Sun, June 19, 1986, p. B4. See also Bob Bose in “Surrey and Langley”, Province, August 3, 1 989, special insert. 124 “You can leave your heart in San Francisco, abandon fresh cheese bagels in Vancouver, but your snobbery you can take anywhere”, Vancouver Sun, August 10, 1981, p.A5.  107 community with the second largest rodeo in western 125 Canada. The process is not complete, however, for Surrey is still a negative signifier, evidenced in the still circulating Surrey 126 jokes. Concomitantly, the images of places within Surrey are becoming more widely known and used, as I show throughout this thesis. Newton, for instance, has a particular meaning, as do  smaller places like Sunshine  subdivision near Cloverdale.  Hills,  a large suburban residential  Ironically, then, just as “suburb” as a referent  has declined in importance, the signifier “Surrey” is also changing. 1 990s Surrey signifies diversity house types.  -  In the  ethnically, age wise, job opportunities and  As a result, communities within Surrey take on meaning of  their own in the geographic vocabulary of residents, as I show in subsequent chapters. The type of residential development that now dominates Surrey, and the encouragement of diversity and uniqueness within the OCP, are partly responsible for this changing image.  Unlike the 1 970s where AHOP and  compact lot housing in places like Newton were the norm and seemed to affirm the reputation of Surrey, and also in contrast to the early 1 980s where most affluent residential development was destined for South Surrey, most developments from the late 1 980s on consisted of larger houses in what were termed controlled developments. A perusal of the Real Estate sections of both the Vancouver Sun and the Surrey Leader, for instance, substantiates this  claim,  with  the  selling  of  controlled  subdivisions  predominant.  Throughout the summer of 1 986 the Surrey Leader, for instance, carried an advertisement for Somerset Grove, “one of Guildford’s finest controlled residential subdivisions”. 125 126  Average house size is increasing, a result, some  “He’s Surrey for the joke”, Province, July 31, 1985, p.B1. On Surrey jokes see the column by Denny Boyd, “Surrey’s idea of a good joke in Vandercouver”, Vancouver Sun, October 25, 1 984, p.A3.  108 developers and builders allege, of it being uneconomical to build small, isolated houses anymore, since land prices are so high.  As summarized in  the Surrey Leader: Builders claim that the system creates disincentives to build smaller, more affordable homes. Social agencies complain that land is being gobbled up by speculators and developers who then build enormous homes on lots to match. The affordable housing crunch has devoured the lower class and is now moving up to rip at the heels of the middle class, dimming the dream of many to purchase a singlefamily house on a spacious urban lot. 127 Within  the  increasingly  prevalent  controlled  subdivisions,  micro-  geographies of power, place and distancing from the term “Surrey” are prevalent.  Morningside Estates, for instance, was a controlled subdivision in  Fleetwood, marketed on the basis of architectural and social homogeneity. Many developments in Fraser Heights were also planned and developed along similar lines, where there was active disassociation from the traditional image of Surrey. The first case study, Glenwood, is a good example of a controlled subdivision, as I document in chapter four.  Simultaneously, however, the  image of cheap housing is also being reworked by developers such as ParkLane Homes. They are building a compact lot subdivision in Cloverdale, with the intention of bringing “a touch of Kitsilano to Surrey” and making the small houses desirable. 128 The second case study, Berkshire Park, is also a compact lot subdivision that is distanced from the AHOP image. As of the beginning of 1994, the 1983 OCP was being officially reviewed, reflecting the diversifying process. Part of this diversification trend were the plans for “Surrey City Centre”.  Seizing an opportunity opened up  by the extension of Skytrain into Surrey, the municipality is trying to create a 127 128  “High prices dim housing dreams”, Surrey Leader, April 11, 1 990, p.A1. Harold Munro, 1993, “Kitsilano atmosphere sought”, Vancouver Sun, October 13, p.B1.  109 downtown core. particular  -  The current language  indicates  that  the  -  signifier  naming it Surrey Surrey  is  a  City  long  Centre in way  from  encompassing urban high-rise: “city” aspects of Surrey have to be directly signalled. This suggests, nevertheless, that more, rather than less, instability in the meanings of Surrey and suburb are likely in the future. It would be misleading to end the “Surrey story” here. scientific representations of space are far from absent.  Rational  They continue to  underlie the planning, spatial allocation and building of houses and residential neighbourhoods, principally through the concept of “everything in its place”. Indeed, the sway of local, Surrey-specific representations of space has waned over the past two years. The designation “suburban”, long the centre of a Surrey identity, has been threatened by increasing housing demand. As a result of the subsequent “suburban lands review” in West Newton and Cloverdale, a significant portion of suburban land has now been designated urban.  Not only does suburbanization need to be contextualized, but so too  do representations of space specific.  -  their purchase is historically and geographically  In these respects, the history of Surrey since 1 960 is not a linear  passage from rational, outsider, to more place-specific representations of space, Surrey and suburb. All three terms remain unstable and multifarious, intersecting in different ways in different places at different times. VII. Conclusions  In this chapter I have tried to show how space and place are produced through, and drawn upon in, suburbanization, which in turn are underlain by the privileging of a specific vision of family. Since 1 960, a rational scientific representation of space guided residential development in Surrey, but this process was expressed, worked through, and sometimes contested, in local,  110 Surrey terms. Rational visions were modified by the perceived specificity and history of Surrey. In the 1 960s the rational representation of space espoused by planners contained within it the meaning of suburb within Surrey and its geographical differentiation. Diversity within Surrey was explicitly recognized in the planning discourses of the  1 980s.  Historical and geographical  processes have meant that Surrey is many types of places rolled into one. In some parts, Surrey is a city, in others, it assumes a more traditional suburban form.  Stretching across the landscape, however, is the primacy of family as  a differentiating factor. There are two implications of the preceding analysis that I would like to draw out in depth. The first is the position of this narrative within more conventional suburbanization stories.  I have attempted to add another layer to other  suburbanization stories by emphasizing the planning framework in which residential development occurs.  Notions of what a piece of land is and  should be, and what a suburb should be, become intertwined with social and economic processes (e.g. real estate development, construction industry, planning discourses, resident activism), and in turn make their mark on the 129 Through this, I have demonstrated that the broader context of landscape. suburbanization affects the outcome. I have also suggested that the place in which these processes occur also matters. empty nor meaningless.  Place  -  Surrey  -  was neither  Its existing, and dynamic, meanings impacted  suburbanization. The second implication is the position of the two case studies in this narrative. The rest of this thesis focuses on two “single-family” subdivisions, 129  Louise Johnson, 1994, “Occupying the suburban frontier: accommodating difference on Melbourne’s urban fringe” in Alison Blunt and Gillian Rose, eds. Writing Women and Space: Colonial and Postcolonial Geographies, London and New York: Guilford, pp.141 -66, has recently attempted a similar analysis..  111 built for the nuclear family and privileged within Surrey planning discourses. The first neighbourhood, Glenwood, is an affluent, controlled subdivision in Fraser Heights.  It is indicative of Surrey’s newer middle-class subdivisions  that I mentioned in the last section, and is notable because it is located in North, not South Surrey, with the latter historically being the home of the affluent in Surrey.  Berkshire Park, the second neighbourhood, is a compact  lot subdivision in Fleetwood. It therefore has different reference points in my suburbanization narrative.  Its general location  a site of urban growth, envisaged in the  -  Fleetwood  -  is positioned as  1 983 and current planning  discussions as a source of land to fulfill the demand by young families for houses they can afford to buy. Berkshire therefore fits the characterization of Surrey as a site of cheap housing.  As a compact lot subdivision, , 130  Berkshire is also partially reminiscent of the debates over Assisted Home Ownership Plan houses I discussed in section three.  In the following  chapters I investigate further the different positioning and meaning of the two neighbourhoods,  and  explore their  commonalities  negotiation and constitution of gender, class and race.  130  Which I explain in more detail in chapter four.  as  contexts  for the  112 CHAPTER FOUR BOUNDING THE MIDDLE-CLASS NUCLEAR FAMILY  I. Suburbs and Boundaries in the 1990s  Basically I think everybody finds this area is a very very compact area, there’s sort of no outside influences on this subdivision, it’s just a subdivision, it has definite boundaries, you know, 108th, 160th, 164th, 104th. And there’s no outside influences other than just the single family dwellings, that appear, you know, nicer houses, the people all really like it, everybody wants to protect this little area from the big world outside. 1 Reinforcing this pattern of income differentiation has been the widespread desire of urban dwellers to separate themselves from lower income and minority groups. In the past as in the present, most of those moving outward have been seeking social separation from the lower classes as well as better housing and more spacious surroundings. Middle-class families commonly equate personal security, good schools, maintenance of property values, and the general desirability of a residential area with the absence of lower-income groups. 2  These two quotes capture the two major contexts and starting points of this chapter: the spatialization of middle class, familial identities through erecting boundaries around neighbourhoods; and academic understandings of the urban geographies produced by such processes. The first quote, from a resident of Glenwood, suggests that a homology between place and identity exists there, and is actively defended by residents.  In their everyday lives,  the inhabitants of Glenwood carved out a place of their own, a “home” in which to feel comfortable and to which they felt they naturally belonged. Moreover, this “home” was spatially demarcated and expressed. My first aim 1 2  Anne, Glenwood. Michael N. Danielson, 1976, The Politics of Exclusion, New York: Columbia University Press; p.6.  113 in this chapter is to explore this homology between place and identity in terms of the themes introduced in chapters one and two.  Specifically, how  are middle class family places made and remade, especially in the context of the discourses of declining fortunes and new traditionalism? are the associated identities spatialized?  How, if at all,  Finally, using the comparison  provided by the two case studies, are there different types of middle class family places and identities? The second quote signals the nesting of the chapter in attempts to comprehend the spatial, exclusionary, and familial practices associated with suburban living. of analysis.  In particular, I want to bring together two different strands  The first is the North American historical literature on suburbs,  which has emphasized the importance of boundaries in suburban places and living.  Most often, as Danielson suggests, suburban living has been sought  and defined against urban living: a retreat from the perceived chaos, crime, poverty and anti-family characteristics of the city. 3 In Richard Sennett’s late nineteenth-century Chicago, for instance, the economic world was rapidly changing,  the  population  diversifying,  and  chaos  and  fear  dominant  4 Then, lack of control was identified with the city, and suburban emotions. living and retreat into the nuclear family adopted as attempts to shield individuals from the disorder and diversity of the city. 5  As well as the  symbolic boundaries identified by Sennett, other defence mechanisms have been used: restrictive covenants that maintain land values and often explicitly  For an analogous British analysis see F.Thompson, 1 982, The Rise of Suburbia, Leicester: Leicester University Press. In North America see Margaret Marsh, 1 990, Suburban Lives, New Brunswick and London: Rutgers University Press and Richard Sennett, 1 970, Families Against the City: Middle Class Homes of Industrial Chicago, 1872-1890, Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press. d. pp.88-96. ibjd.p.141.  114 deny minority groups access to particular places; 6 more explicit exclusionary zoning, common in the United States; 7 land use planning to allocate “families” to their “proper place”; 8 and reliance on the housing market as a “natural” filter. The  second  strand  of  analysis  is  more  recent,  purportedly  9 adding another defense mechanism to this list: the building “postmodern”, of physical walls around suburban neighbourhoods in an attempt to keep others out. A monopolistic land development industry, 10 in combination with an all-pervasive fear, have created residential landscapes where space is blatantly used as part of processes of exclusion.  Communities of the (often  white) wealthy are explicitly isolated and protected from the perceived chaos and crime of the rest of the city through walls and gates, creating what Mike Davis 6  7 8 9  10  11  astutely  terms  “fortress  11 LA”.  “Master-planned  communities”  For a Canadian discussion see John C.Weaver, 1 978, “From land assembly to social maturity: the suburban life of Westdale (Hamilton), Ontario, 1911-1951”, Histoire Sociale, Social History, 11, pp. 41 1-40. Danielson, op.cit. Constance Penn, 1 977, Everything in its Place: Social Order and Land Use in America, Princeton: Princeton University. I say purportedly because there is a confusion between postmodernism as an era and as a mode of analysis. For a sample of the two uses of “postmodern” in urban literature, see Michael Dear, 1 988, “Postmodernism and planning” Environment and Planning D: Society and SDace; Michael Peter Smith, 1 992, “Postmodernism, urban ethnography and the new social space of ethnic identity”, Theory and Society, 21, pp.493-531; Elizabeth Wilson, 1991, The Srhinx in the City: Urban Life, the Control of Disorder, and Women, London: Virago, ch.9; and Janet Wolff, 1 992, “The real city, the discursive city, the disappearing city: postmodernism and urban sociology”, Theory and Society, 21, pp.55360. Martin J. Schiesl, 1991, “Designing the model community: the Irvine Company and Suburban Development, 1950-88” in Rob Kling, Spencer Olin and Mark Poster, eds., Postsuburban California: The Transformation of Orange County since World War II, Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, pp.55-91’ Edward Soja, 1 991, “Inside Exopolis: Scenes from Orange County” in Michael Sorkin, ed., Variations on a Theme Park: The New American City and the End of Public Space, New York: Noonday Press, pp. 1 22. 94 Mike Davis, 1990, “Fortress LA” in his City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles, London and New York: Verso; Paul L. Knox, 1993, “The postmodern urban matrix” in Paul Knox, ed., The Restless Urban  115 surrounded by high walls that enclose social homogeneity are becoming increasingly prevalent. 12 My aim in this chapter is to bring together these different approaches to suburban  boundaries;  demonstrating  the benefits of thinking  about  boundaries symbolically (clearly evident in the historical literature), in tandem with a recognition of the changed context of the 1 990s (highlighted by analyses of “postmodern” urban form). Postmodern analyses of suburban exclusion assume that borders between neighbourhoods have to be physical to be efficacious, thereby overlooking the long history of symbolic boundaries in suburban life. A more explicitly cultural analysis would therefore extend the claims currently being made.  In the two place-making stories that follow I show that symbollc  boundaries are crucial in the formation and reproduction of both these neighbourhoods and identities within them.  Moreover, the negotiation and  re-constitution of meaning, power and identity are absent in postmodern accounts. In Edward Soja’s study of Orange County, California, for example, there is no suggestion that the meanings implanted into the landscape by the Irvine Company are negotiated or resisted in any way. 13  Similarly, although  Karen Till ends her examination of one “master planned community” with the claim that “the Madronaville story reminds [us] that consumers are not passive receivers of information  but are real people with  contention is foreshadowed rather than explored. 14  ideas”, the  Middle-class, familial,  Landscare, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, pp.207-236; K. Till, 1 993, “Neotraditional towns and urban villages: the cultural production of a geography of “otherness”, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 11, pp.709-732. 12 Paul L. Knox, 1993, “Capital, material culture and socio-spatial differentiation” in Paul Knox, ed., The Restless Urban Landscape, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, pp.1-34. 13 Edward Soja, op.cit. 14 Karen Till, op.cit., p.729.  116 residential communities are not only made by capital. meaning and re-created by their inhabitants.  They are given  Analysis should therefore take  account of the (re)creation of meaning by residents. As I outlined in the introductory chapter, the urban and suburban situations of a place like Surrey in the 1 990s are far removed from those that formed a backdrop to the historical literature.  It is therefore fruitful to  examine the patterns of congregation and separation in Surrey. In the rest of this chapter I document two patterns that connect Sennett’s concerns with those of contemporary urban analysts.  First, it was not the city that was  feared, but the suburbs. Surrey’s diversity meant that crime, poverty, family arrangements other than the nuclear family, and unemployment were all close, spatially and socially, to the residents of Berkshire and Glenwood.  It  was thus certain suburban lifestyles they were avoiding, not the city, but in a symbolic sense. Second, and related to the first, unlike Sennett’s retreat into the family, the protection of, and retreat into, the residential neighbourhood was clear.  A spatial strategy, bounding the neighbourhood and home, was  adopted. I demonstrate these points through an investigation of the multifaceted creation of two suburban subdivisions in Surrey.  The aim is not to  comprehensively document the histories of the two pieces of land, nor is it to present an exhaustive inventory of residents’ reasons for locating there and descriptions of their neighbourhood. Instead, I draw out the major themes of the interviews, and I pay particular attention to the establishment of an affinity between the places and identities, as well as the role of symbolic geographies in the creation of bounded, middle-class, familial places.  117 II. A Gated Community without Gates: Delimiting the Boundaries of the Affluent Middle-class Family in Glenwood  Located on the periphery of Surrey’s single-family residential zone in Fraser Heights, the Glenwood subdivision (whose location is shown on Figure 2.2 in chapter two) is a bounded and coherent white, middle-class, nuclear family neighbourhood.  Its physical separation from the rest of Surrey,  established by the Trans Canada Highway, became a symbolic, relatively impermeable, boundary protecting Glenwood residents from the chaotic world “outside”.  Two inter-related powers and practices produced this spatial  formation.  First, as part of a profit-maximizing strategy, Glenwood was  positioned as different and isolated by the residential development industry. Second, residents cemented this symbolic divide through practices and ideas which were a spatialization of their interpretations of, and identities within, the declining fortunes discourse. a. Making Boundaries (1) Planners and Developers The  planning  and  development  history  of  Glenwood  and  its  surroundings evinces its physical and social isolation from the rest of Surrey. Glenwood’s general location is known as Fraser Heights, land north of the Trans Canada Highway and on bluffs overlooking the Fraser River.  Farming  land for most of the time since white occupancy of Surrey began, Fraser Heights had for a long time been forgotten in the Surrey planning discourses. It was not until 1 983, for instance, that it was recognized as a community within  Surrey,  being previously known as a village of Guildford.  In  anticipation of a growth spurt in the 1 970s, the land was “replotted” so that 15 consistently sized and located urban lots could be created. 15  While the  “Replot assists property owners”, Surrey Leader, May 17, 1970, section 2, p. 1.  118 building boom did not materialize, disagreement over the future meaning of the land continued, even among residents.  Those who owned large parcels  of land, like the Dominion Construction Company, sought an industrial zoning for all Fraser Heights in order to extract maximum value from the land. Residents preferred housing to maintain their “hillside overlooking the river” as a “special” area. 16 melding the  An innovative solution to this impasse was adopted,  visions of  residents,  council  and  Dominion  Construction.  Following its designation, amidst opposition, as an area of urban housing in the 1983 OCP, 17 Dominion Construction and other land owners engaged the services of a professional planner to decide the future of Fraser Heights. 18 Together, they planned a mutually satisfactory urban community, which they 19 then presented to council. This proposal and resultant neighbourhood were important since they set the stage for Glenwood in a number of ways.  First, they ensured the  marking of Fraser Heights as residential space, both in practice (Fraser Glen was built) and in planning policy. Fraser Glen  -  Second, the community and subdivision  -  envisioned in this proposal was a “self-contained community”  that set it apart from the rest of Surrey. 20  Moreover, Fraser Glen was a  controlled subdivision, with strict architectural guidelines. 21  As the only  large scale residential development north of the highway, it set the tone for the land that was drawn upon and reproduced in the design of Glenwood. 16 17  18 19 20 21  “New industry rejected for Fraser Heights area”, Surrey Leader, October 22, 1980, p.A1O. “Housing for Fraser Heights”, Surrey Leader, February 11, 1981, p.A2; “Fraser Heights owners tempted by development”, Surrey Leader, July 1, 1981, p.B1. “Fraser Heights assists planners”, Surrey Leader, February 24, 1982, p.A1O. “Fraser Heights gets housing”, Surrey Leader, February 1, 1984, p.A20. “Fraser Heights to jump by 2,000 residents”, Surrey Leader, June 10, 1981, p.A1. “Even ‘for sale’ signs under strict controls”, Surrey Leader, January 11, 1984, p.A22.  119  When you bull home at Gk. you’re not free to do asyoupl ..—.J  ca  1’—’  ‘V  -  At (,tenwood I .t.itc-’.. we don t q 1 ( I cave the tot tire lii CII a nec (;k-nvicI is P”°°-’ iii he a COfltTt1tifliOt (bully and listing property value IRC.uiisc S T A T E S hul It the gmu:ur:untees right in Ifltiov;ttie dcsiun and arctui teittiral guidelines ensure that privaand a superior Iifcstylc V. ill he sI t11((l h tvcrvm 1114 1)111 Idi (il. alt CXCCLIEIVC home ,tuuuood Lstites VI•hiatVs svhiv pcpk arent trec 10(10 COfll is 11144 j)lt.is4. I lii’. iliuM ,,Ii.iie with their neighbours ii ii: ‘i ‘i a ,i—’i 1 I Ii .I ( ;k i ,, ci and :t commitment V  i uienwooci  \VCVC  --  V  V  V  _VV____V_.______________  V  iiV  I iii’ hi  c’ Ii  Iii —.1 (M l HI I1 I.  itli ii f(V  c  I.iii.Iin.ti.I. pI.inii-.I  II  III  \ tjI<InII  ,IIiIIIiIIIIIi.IIi  I  hUhl(tliig lot  IIIiilIiicLl\. LOtS II I,fl  VI  (i I VIA I ES  in  a  ii.tda• I1ie.senal 1 hsc II  n..,..,  rtoull  $59,900.  41 IIIIIlIIIC% mIni  II, “ocr,,.  hi,.,,, I .0 II,’’II, hiOri  &ro%%4,,cC tilt  I,,. I,,, .n, t iI .41, Ao,,,i,. ii.ciic i i.o.u IIII 4 V  a I ,,In.  SI,. ‘‘ -  I  I 11n11I,./’,it.,t1  I  ,,,j,r,  ‘  [I II  T,4Ul)I  grn,iiw  TOn  gIlit,. of  tl.iity Iii(1i%1.  ,,n nniiI,t-r iilturiii;itoifl call 683—1141  Ill C ‘‘‘‘‘‘n’!’’’  p I  Figure 4. 1. Glenwood Advertising and the Erasure of Surrey Source: Vancouver Sun, June 10, 1987.  J1  120 When Glenwood was being planned in the mid  1980s, a sharp  symbolic and physical boundary around it was part of its design and development. The image of Surrey as a place of cheap housing that prevailed into the mid 1980s and the inactive and deteriorating housing market (see chapter three) propelled the developer, Grosvenor International, to position Glenwood differently.  The aim was to cater to the “move-up” rather than  starter market to ensure a better financial 22 return; an aim that had spatial The first was the establishment of a symbolic difference  consequences.  between Glenwood and Surrey.  Figure 4.1 is indicative of this boundary.  There, the erasure of Surrey is obvious; it is only mentioned in the directions on how to get to Glenwood and is not even named on the map. According to the advertisement, Glenwood is close to all other Vancouver centres except, ironically, Surrey.  A clear boundary between Glenwood and the rest of  Surrey is being drawn.  Glenwood was also designed so as to enhance its It is clearly  physical distinctiveness and isolation, evident in Figure 4.2. separated  from  developments;  its  surroundings,  enveloped  by farmland  and  especially  and the  other  highway  and  residential with  an  elementary school within walking distance. There is only one way of entering Glenwood, and this entrance, with its wide brick-paved drive and trees, immediately announces that this place is different (Figure 4.3a).  The park  and pond in the centre of the subdivision substantiate this distinction (Figure 4.3b).  This design and isolation sustain the claim implicit in Figure 4.1: if  Fraser Heights is unique, then Glenwood is very special.  22  Michael BaIl, 1 983, Housing Policy and Economic Power: The Political Economy of Owner Occupation, London and New York: Methuen, p. 116 notes that the increasing importance and profitability of the “move-up” market is a result of the increased market power of long term owner occupiers.  121 The social distinction of Glenwood was also partially established by planning and design, emphasized by the architect’s drawing underneath “any plans  this  weekend?”  in  Figure  4.4.  Advertised  as  an  “inspired”  neighbourhood, planning created order in the general chaos of Surrey. such, it made Glenwood unique.  As  Design and architectural guidelines were  central to this planning framework, primarily because they would ensure that Glenwood appeared different from the rest of Surrey. All roofs, for instance, had to be of cedar shake, houses were to have a minimum amount of brick, they were not to be basement entry, no clotheslines, and the same house and/or colour was not to repeated within six houses. Part of this strategy was that originally only four specially selected builders were allowed to build in Glenwood. 23 The selection of these builders was essential to creating the distinctiveness of Glenwood. They were known as “quality” builders, having histories of building houses that appealed to the affluent middle class.  Cedar West, for instance, had previously developed  and built Hazeiwood Grove in Guildford, and Norway and Chrisdale were involved in Fraser Glen.  Both Hazeiwood and Fraser Glen were controlled  neighbourhoods. The selection process was also racialized to the extent that 24 It may have been the case that none of the builders were lndo-Canadian. white builders would be more likely to build houses to fit the desired aesthetic. 23  I interviewed two, with the other two no longer being in business. Neither of the firms is currently involved in housebuilding in Surrey. One builds only custom homes and condominiums; the other has come full circle and builds small pre-fabricated homes for compact lot subdivisions on Vancouver Island. Chrisdale Homes had been involved in Fraser Glen, and had a lot of input into the design of Glenwood. Cedar West Homes were a small family-run operation (now part of a steel company) noted for the quality of its construction. It had developed and built in Hazelwood Grove, another controlled subdivision in Surrey. 24 Indo-Canadian builders are common in the Surrey and Lower Mainland housing markets.  122  108th Avenue! Farm Land  ElementarV School  Fraser Glen Housing SubdMsion  Legend  Scattered Urban Detached Houses 0  Figure 4.2. Glenwood and Surroundings  metres  300  1 23  Figure 4.3a. Glenwood Entrance  Figure 4.3b. Park and Pond, Glenwood  124 Combined, these strategies were making Glenwood a place for the affluent middle-class. In the words of the advertising in Figure 4.4, it was to be “one of the Lower Mainland’s most desirable residential addresses”.  The  market was explicitly those who wished to express their identity, and especially their relative affluence, through their home and neighbourhood. This is most evident in the following text from a feature article in the Surrey Leader: Located on a plateau high above the Fraser River between Douglas and Barnston Islands, Glenwood Estates offers the best of town and country living in the heart of Surrey. Nestled among the tall trees of Fraser Heights, this desirable community of executive homes is ideally situated next to major transportation routes, regional shopping centres and most city amenities and has been planned to provide 280 building sites for quality single family residences. Full height cedar hedges combine with low stone walls and solid granite planters to mark the perimeter and main entrance of this prestigious community. In the centre is an extensively landscaped garden park with duck pond, gazebo, a pedestrian bridge spanning man-made waterfalls and walkways which will tie into a series of nature trails throughout Fraser Heights. With typically only four lots to each acre, all lots are generous in size, fronting on quiet through streets or private cul-de-sacs. In this extract, class references dominate.  Glenwood is described as  “executive”, “quality”, “prestigious” and on a “plateau high above”. The text also links class with the spatial form of Glenwood.  The built environment is  seen to mark out exclusivity through the main entrance, tall trees and quiet cul-de-sacs.  . -  -  ,.  125  -If-nótcomeaiid--see.ours In the, reLowMainnd, there on one community like F rHezght And in FraserHezght there icjusl 7e GlenwOodEstates.. .weplanned it that way!  ,  ThëbixuiyofChoi& plann{ng  Custom Fit  j II  1  The my best  buy a horuc  thesL-isolGksiwtiid. a prvate setting spacious it built the wa you want. Its II :.. tate-lots-for executve-hatnes iildin7-and at—. tuatednap1ateauhighahosv, I, F. S T A T E S Gletiwod Estates. we\t made tIj Fraser River betseevn scenic it an easy and exciting process Douglas and Baroston lsland. and surprisingly affordable. With tnly four loIs to each acre. ltonwsites are of A numberolsekcted quality builders arc now woildng generous and gracious proportion, fronting on quiet on site. Then you arrive at Glemsood, drive around streets and private cui-de-sacs u3tich encircle a beautiand look at their work, Ask questions and let them fully landscaped garden park and reflecting pond. know the kind of home that would be perfect for your With roads and services just completed and (lisplar lifestyle. Theyll help you see that moving into your homes still under construction, now is the time to get dream home is as simple as dioosing a builder you feel the pick of the prnpertics ensuring that your home comfortable with. You set the criteria: theyll look is perfectly situated. after the details. ‘‘.  —-  —  -  --  h  GLENWOOD ESTATES 0* OVA  I J  I  -  S’-’  VAlor!.  just o minute’s froni ‘IA)U’flICCUfl tttfleOut’A’find ugihin 10 minutes ofEurnaht’ ( quittam. ftc/Ia. New Westminster and Lang/eu mr-n off llighuay I in Nurn’i’aI 140th Street. beau norli, 0, /0-/tb A,’,’,,ue, and Ireek for the’ ge-anile entry gates.  1)er’elo/u’d Ii’  Grosvenor International Canada Limited.  For further information on building sites call- 683-It-il For further information on custom homes cal] our ieaturcd builders: Cedãrst Homes Lid. Owisdak Homes Ltd. Elite Homes Norway ttomes Lid. 585-i488 590-6444 596-9974 536-6783  Figure 4.4. Glenwood Advertised as a “Planned” Neighbourhood Source: Surrey Leader Real Estate Section, Wednesday November 26, 1 986, p.3.  126 Glenwood  as the product of overlapping discourses and practices of  -  planners, property owners, developers and builders  -  was thus created as a  place for the affluent, the homeowner who wanted to live in a place expressive of that identity.  Advertising was selling the place and its image,  the houses were secondary. Further, although family references were absent in Glenwood advertising, a certain family form was assumed.  Both builders  and the developer presumed it would be families moving in, with some houses  -  ranchers  -  set aside for retirees. 25  b. Making Boundaries (2) Residents Glenwood was also a place of the middle-class nuclear family.  For  many who live there, it represents a spatial solution to the perceived social problems of crime and the feared death of the family. The social and spatial perimeter of  Glenwood  was therefore  unmistakable;  underlain  by the  motivations of those who moved there and their subsequent spatial practices. Reasons for moving to Glenwood and descriptions of the subdivision were multi-layered, and often came out at different points in the interviews.  In  what follows I talk about the common elements in these motivations and descriptions: Glenwood as not Surrey, isolated from Surrey and controlled and ordered. For most Glenwood residents the home was more than a place to live and raise children, it was an investment.  There are many examples of this,  including: So when we were going to make the move to Surrey that was our objective, we weren’t looking for a house, we were looking for a piece of property to build and move into. [Glen] 25  Moreover, builders, in designing the houses, assumed that the occupants would be families and that house layout would only be an issue in terms of location of kitchen, number of bathrooms and choice of colours.  127 It’s an investment, that’s the main thing. If we moved up the main thing would be for investment for the future. Because your money’s probably working better in a house than it is in the bank [Debby] It’s a growing investment, to me it’s our investment for the future, we financially made some arrangements, we don’t have a lot of insurance anymore, but what we have is in our house [Anne] But they did not want a house just anywhere.  It had to be in a  particular type of neighbourhood in an appropriate location. An uncontrolled, or chaotic neighbourhood was seen to be problematic since it represented all the traits they feared: crime, renters, welfare, different ethnicities, and non nuclear families, evident in the following extracts. I wouldn’t live in Whalley, not because I’m a snob, it’s terrible to say, but I would rather be in an area where there’s a solid family unit and most of the homes in that area are broken homes, a lot of condominiums, I have nothing against condominiums, I rented one too, but I know myself that there’s not enough time to go around when my husband’s out of town to look after the kids and everything. [Debby] Single parents have a greater chance of raising troubled kids than so-called normal families. Because every kid needs a father and a mother and a mother can’t be both or has a much harder time being both. Like that [Ruby] it was all homes rammed subdivision meant, central playground where all the kids together, a and the can’t really see them and they congregate, parents want, and the teenage kids have nothing can do what they roam and look for trouble. to do but [Edward] ...  Two points are important here.  First, the intersection of new  traditionalism and declining fortunes discourse is clear: it is not only poverty that is feared, but the poverty and family arrangements of, invariably female, single parents.  They were seen as problematic (and to be avoided) because  they were taken to imply a lack of care for children.  Second, Edward’s  thoughts, in the middle of a discussion about the relative influence of  128 economy and family values in his description of contemporary family decline, highlight how social problems are spatialized.  Single parents and poverty  were identified with particular neighbourhoods in Surrey. For some residents, the move to Glenwood was therefore an explicit attempt to extricate themselves from what they saw as undesirable neighbourhoods: The little area where we were didn’t seem to be getting any better. It was kind of going downhill. A few of the people that moved in moved in to very nice houses and we saw them getting run down, becoming overgrown. So that kind of influenced us too, the writing was on the wall that this area wasn’t going to get much better. [David] But in Somerset [another subdivision in Surrey] we realized we’d built too grand for the area, and we knew enough about the market, knew that if we didn’t do our move quickly our value would go down. So we decided to move down here. [Julie] Our concern when we moved was that the house was too small and also the neighbourhood was becoming very bad, of the seventeen homes in our area I don’t think there was one that hadn’t been “visited” [burgled] at one time or I think there was a feeling in that old another. neighbourhood whereby people were moving out, and the people that stayed were the ones where the wife didn’t We felt like we’d work and they didn’t have any money. outgrown the neighbourhood. [Anne] ...  ...  Basically we wanted to move somewhere that had more square feet in the actual house. But it was also there was a change in the neighbourhood there were more renters. [Veronica] -  Here, neighbourhood change, and especially an influx of renters, were perceived  as  threatening  their  lifestyle  and  values.  As  respectable,  comfortably middle-class, family people, wishing to maximize the investment value of their house, a planned, homogeneous and controlled space was seen as most appropriate, what Debby termed a “neighbourhood”: We had been looking for a couple of years, we don’t do anything on a whim, and we purposefully looked for a  129 neighbourhood this time because our other house, it was in a very unorganized neighbourhood and we were told that if it was two blocks either way we probably would have got twenty percent more when we sold because our next door neighbour never mowed their lawn, and it was very unorganized. So we purposefully bought in a neighbourhood for resale value and also for the fact that we wanted something for the kids. Ernie, whose children were older and who had lived in East Vancouver for twenty years, also wanted a controlled space: We were looking for a particular type of neighbourhood I think. A quiet place to live, where there’s a park, just a quieter neighbourhood. Jennifer, moving from Kamloops because of her husband’s job, noted: With the real estate being as up ahd down as it was at that point [we thought] that it would be safer to build, buy a house in a controlled area, where it’s all laid out what you can do. These desires for a “neighbourhood” at once confirm the intentions of the developer and underline the importance of boundaries in the residential location decision.  It appears that, a priori, a spatially bounded and socially  homogeneous location was desired, which led to locating in Glenwood. Glenwood, as the developers and builders hoped, fitted the bill in a number of ways.  First, the architectural guidelines did more than ensure a  consistent aesthetic; they were seen to ensure social homogeneity.  In  Glenwood, they meant that renters did not move in. When I asked Steve, the husband of Debby who wanted to live in a “neighbourhood”, whether he wanted to live in a particular type of subdivision, he replied: No, probably just a newer area was our concern. Like I said, with controls on the houses. We were in a neighbourhood before that, we were the nicer house on the block with a whole bunch of older houses that were deteriorating quickly. In that kind of environment that we were in before, we found that more people when they sold, they were going to turn around and rent it.  130 Second,  the  location  and  characteristics  of  Glenwood  somewhat a general concern about the reputation of Surrey.  mitigated  Louise, from  Burnaby, had originally vowed “no way, we’re not going to move to Surrey”. However, after visiting Glenwood many times she was convinced it was different. Kathy, from Langley, had similar reservations: Surrey had always had, to both of us, a bad reputation, and some friends of ours moved out to Surrey and said you should come and look at some of the nicer areas out here it’s beautiful. One of the areas that we looked at was down near Fleetwood, Hazelwood Grove, which was a very nice area, and they had bought there, lots were just being snapped up so fast, we couldn’t get one in that area. And we just happened to see an advertisement in the paper for lots in the Glenwood subdivision, so I phoned up. Anne and Pete originally only searched in South Surrey at similar controlled neighbourhoods since they perceived North Surrey to be too chaotic and undesirable. But as Anne recalls: For what we wanted to pay we couldn’t afford this type of house in that area [South Surrey] and the real estate agent said he knew of an area in Surrey, the north part of Surrey, that would probably be very similar on the other side of the freeway. In which case I said I wasn’t even gonna look. I just thought it wasn’t where we wanted to live and the other side of the freeway sounded awfully far away to me. In all three cases, the original dislike of Surrey was retained by redefining Surrey to mean everywhere but north of the Trans Canada.  Others already  knew that it was different from the rest of Surrey: We knew the area really well, we knew about Fraser Glen, and we just happened to be around here and a house came up for sale. The important point here  is that the differentiation  in the respective  reputations or place identities of Glenwood and Surrey was even part of the residential location decision.  In residents’ reconstructions of why they  moved to Glenwood, its cultural, social and spatial difference was paramount.  131 Third, the aesthetic and image created by the architectural guidelines appealed in class terms.  The aesthetics were definitely desirable from an  investment standpoint, as Edward points out: Like that entranceway, I think that adds dollars to our home. Maybe it’s a little glitzy, but it’s part of what makes this subdivision nice, like the little lake in the park, not that functional, but it adds ambience. The “look” of Glenwood also meshed with particular class visions. 26  It was  attractive in the sense that the large houses, layout, and consistency were valued. In some cases, Glenwood acted as a magnet in some couples’ house searches.  For instance, Louise and Doug kept coming back to Glenwood at  the end of each day they were househunting, as did Ernie and Monica, Karen, Greg and others.  Veronica summarizes these experiences when she recalls  that “when all was said and done, we kept on coming back to this area, and we grew to like it more and more”.  Controls were also welcomed in class  terms, symbolizing a particular taste and class position. 27  The following  story told by David is evocative in this regard: My wife’s brother built a house between here and Fleetwood, and he wanted to be able to do what he wanted to do, and not have to have any guidelines. While he could certainly afford to, he wanted to keep his prices right down, so he wanted to have an asphalt roof, all vinyl siding, he wanted a more modern house, so I guess this area would be a little too pretentious to him. ...  Like the advertising of Glenwood where not being free to do as you pleased was cast in a positive light, controls were seen as a sign of affluence and 26  status,  marking  residents  as  different  from  their  socio-spatial  Given what I say later in this chapter about the racialization of particular architectural styles, controls may also have had a racial element. However, I am unable to substantiate this point, which I discuss further in the conclusion. 27 The occupations of those I interviewed are listed in Tables 5.1 and 5.2 in chapter five, where I consider more explicitly the links between housing and class identity.  132 surroundings.  In effect, the appeal of Glenwood sought by the developers  and builders was recreated in the stories residents told about why they moved to Glenwood.  Individual, middle-class oriented interpretations of the  discourse of declining fortunes were spatialized through a desire to live in a controlled subdivision that, like Glenwood, was part of, but separate from, Surrey. As Debby remarks: We like this side of the freeway because it’s so away from everything and it seems to be a little bit more sheltered from crime and stuff, there’s a lot of problems on the other side of the freeway. Locating in Glenwood was also emblematic of middle-class housing values of investment and self-expression via housing, a point I deal with in depth in chapter five.  For the moment, however, I would like to substantiate these  points through reference to cultural practices and ideals within Glenwood. c. Boundary Maintenance Residents’ activities and opinions fleshed out and gave meaning to the uniqueness and isolation of Glenwood and solidified the Walls that had been built.  Primarily in an attempt to keep the perceived danger at bay, a  distinction  between  inside  understandings of residents.  and  outside  Glenwood  permeated  the  High, symbolic boundaries around Glenwood  resulted, maintaining it as a middle class family community.  I focus in this  section on first how the coherence of the inside, or a particular sense of community,  was created in Glenwood,  and second on how this was  differentiated from the rest of Surrey, or how the inside-outside distinction was maintained. Architectural, landscaping and building controls were more than a motivating factor in the move to Glenwood.  They were also the foundation  133 for an aesthetic and spatial coherence within the social life of the subdivision. According to some, it made Glenwood a “community”, gave it a uniqueness and identity that other (Surrey) neighbourhoods did not possess.  David  generally had liberal political values, and “the fact that you had to do certain things rubbed me the wrong way a little bit”. But In retrospect, though, I see that as a very positive thing, because there’s, I think it provides some continuity to the area and I think that helps provide that sense of community, that neighbourhood feeling. I don’t think there’s a lot of repetition, there’s certainly not a great variety, but in retrospect it’s a positive thing. I think it helps give it an identity. ...  Indeed, as I show in chapter six, controls were the basis of a community solidarity that necessitated certain gender identities. More importantly from the perspective of boundaries of class and family, the original building covenants were valued and enforced through the opinions of residents.  For instance, Glen thinks that to live in Glenwood  necessarily and naturally means compliance: I just chuckle at it because I couldn’t care less, up to a certain point, they don’t allow gable end houses, and the odd one has been put in. And I think it looks so out of place, I don’t know why anybody would want to build here when it sticks out like a sore thumb. Ernie identifies a more overt pressure: I think if you look at the way that houses are built here, I think if you don’t build a house to conform here, I really feel that you might get a little bit of pressure from the neighbours. Or you might even feel pressure to build a house to conform here because of what you see. Somebody might come and say well I want to build a walkin basement home with another level, they might not do it after they look around, especially if they’re going to live here because they’ll be under a little bit of pressure from their own mind.  134 Even though the controls were no longer in force, pressure to keep landscaping immaculate remained: You know, keeping up with the Joneses type thing, but not really, you don’t want to let your neighbours down in a sense by having a really uncut lawn, unpainted house, you just feel bad in a way for your neighbours. Everybody does around here. [Veronica] What Ernie, Glen and Veronica are identifying, I think, is a discourse linking Glenwood to  a particular orientation towards house maintenance and,  implicitly, a specific class location and identity.  Regardless of occupation,  and, to a lesser extent, income, living in Glenwood involved an attitude about housing that differentiated its inhabitants from those living in other areas. All were proud of the covenants and respected them, living in a controlled neighbourhood was like a badge that only a select few could wear. The existence of controls was also a symbol of deeper socio-spatial constructions of difference, for restrictions on house style were symptomatic of a broader concern with social homogeneity along the lines of class and family.  They guaranteed that residents would live in a place populated by  people similar to themselves.  When speaking about Glenwood, most  residents worked with definitions of who did and did not fit into the neighbourhood.  Noise, different family arrangements and not looking after  the yard were definitely out.  This is Michael’s opinion of some of his  neighbours: They’re crazy! They actually don’t fit in this subdivision. [laughter] They’re a bit loud, they’re a bit obnoxious. Most people in here have a bit of a brain in their head. They actually lived over near where we would have been before and then they built in here. In contrast, retired people did fit in. They were valued for the care they took with their gardens, and sometimes as surrogate grandparents.  Debby  135 described her son’s relationship with the retired couple who were her neighbours in glowing terms.  She especially valued the interaction between  generations that she felt was absent in many children’s lives. Controls, however, and valuing of housing meant that residing in Glenwood was the spatial expression of a desire to live with other likeminded heterosexual couples with children.  This was explained in familial  terms by Edward: It’s not just money, it’s family. There’s family in this neighbourhood. When there’s a marriage break up the money goes two ways and you can’t afford to buy, it takes a family what ever number of years, it’s taken us ten years to live in this home, being together and working together for ten years, because our family has been together that long, and good fortune financially, that we were able to move here and other people we see are in a similar position, they’ve worked and are in their second or third home, and the family is still hanging together and because of that they can afford it. If they split up the money is half, they’re renting or buying townhomes. I don’t know of You think this is a nice many broken families here. family neighbourhood, it’s because we’re nice families and we can afford to live here and broken families can’t afford to live here because their finances are broken up. ...  To  Edward,  and  others,  he  surmised,  consequence of families staying together.  being  in  Glenwood  was  the  It is also the result of families  living in and maintaining large houses. According to Ernie: The thing is that these people have families. The houses are huge, right, and they don’t have the basement suite so they’re not renting bottom and up. This [house opposite] is a family of four children and this [house down street] is a family of, I think, three children. So it’s families, it’s not adults, or young adults who have to get together to pay the rent. And I guess the rents are not as high as they are in Vancouver. [Ernie] Whatever the reasons, Glenwood was universally defined as a family place. Veronica, active in the neighbourhood, summarizes these views: If you’re in this type of situation, and you value this type of life, then I think this is the place to live for it. Because like  136 I said before, you hardly meet any other types of families, even though I’ve met lots of people who might not have the same values or whatever, but the way it looks from the outside is mom, dad and kids, and all that kind of stuff. And all parents turning up to all the games. As I show in chapter five, this perception of Glenwood as a family place had practical and emotional benefits, in addition to providing a base for a local culture of gender. The point I wish to focus on here is the way these conceptions of Glenwood were sustained and exclusionary.  It was made  clear to me that Glenwood was for residents only: Anne: The neighbours here are very particular about what kind of neighbourhood they want to live in, so they want to maintain it, there were people coming in and dropping car loads of kids off and having them running around the neighbourhood like races and stuff and the people in this neighbourhood wanted to keep it for people that live here, they do not really wish to have a lot of outside people coming in, parking, using the neighbourhood. So the people here think this is for us, we pay the taxes, we want our nice little neighbourhood, to like it here you have to live here, you can’t start capitalizing on this here little area. ...  Although the defence of the boundaries of Glenwood was not an explicit or coordinated strategy of residents, a number of activities, largely based on word of mouth, served to bolster its borders. One social custom is worth noting in this regard.  It was common among residents to say hello  when passing each other on the Street, even if they did not know each other. Strangers could immediately be identified by this practice, including me Since I did not say hello, increasing the likelihood of surveillance of outsiders. Similarly, there was general opposition to uses and meanings of the land (Fraser Heights) other than single-family residential. According to Ernie: I hate for this to get commercial. That mall is okay, but anything bigger than that would just bring in too much traffic. And Steve:  137 The only thing that I was a little nervous of, they were talking about putting apartment blocks in this area, that’s another area, type of housing, that I would like to see that we would be away from. so far, everything that’s going up here is all single family, so I think we’re away from that sort of. ...  The  Fraser  Heights  Residents’  Association  had,  in  fact,  previously  coordinated a campaign to keep townhouses out of the area. A second example of boundary maintenance is a proposal by BC Transit for a bus route to run from Guildford along the main road of Glenwood. As Anne recalls: They were gonna put the bus route right through the neighbourhood area, not past our house but through the neighbourhood, past Veronica’s house actually. I can remember the neighbours petitioning, threatening to block the road, so I spoke to my buddy at BC Transit and told her what would happen and she wasn’t terribly accommodating but the result of it was that they ended up getting the bus where they wanted it on the outskirts. It’s probably not terribly safe for it to come through the neighbourhood when you’re raising children. The problem seemed to be noise, traffic and that the bus could potentially transport “undesirables” to Surrey. those  of  convenience,  accessibility  The principle of exclusion over-rode and  women’s  safety,  although  as  Veronica notes, most Glenwood residents owned two cars anyway. Veronica also explained opposition to the bus in planning terms: talk about something that was not planned, the way they planned that bus route. When we got it stopped that was the main thing. It now goes along the main arteries outside the subdivision, it was just totally opposite to what everyone wanted. The people that lived on the main street weren’t keen. The issue of a baseball diamond was similarly contested.  The land  next to the elementary school had always been designated park land, but until 1990 had remained “bush”.  Council proposed that a baseball diamond  be built, in light of the shortage of such fields in Surrey.  Again, residents  138 protested, though for two different reasons.  The retired person who  organized a petition preferred the land to remain bush since it would then be more attuned with the trails of the area.  Opposition also emanated from  parents concerned about the isolation of Glenwood.  The field was seen to  bring “outsiders” and traffic into Glenwood; most parents were willing to drive their children elsewhere to play sport. Being articulate and vocal, these residents prevailed over the minority who wanted play space for their children. family,  Libby, who thought residents were being short-sighted and antinoted that ironically baseball was played  in the park, though  informally by neighbourhood children and not formally by outsiders.  The  moat around Glenwood remained without a bridge. The accessibility of Glenwood to outsiders was limited, partly for geographical reasons. According to Ruby: This is still sort of isolated, cause it’s out of the way, you have to have a reason to come over here because there’s nothing, it’s not a place to cruise or to shop, or go out to dinner or anything, it’s just a place to live and not to go. These activities described above, however, point out that the walls constructed around Glenwood were also symbolic.  The Trans Canada  Highway symbolized this separation. According to Veronica: It’s like having a moat around you. Psychologically especially, people always talk about going out to the other side of the freeway. It reminds me of when I lived in the Yukon, and people would say they’re going to the outside, and that’s, it’s just like what it’s like here, people say they’re going out, meaning the other side of the freeway. And Doug: You always say the north side of the freeway, you don’t say you live in Surrey, you don’t say you live in Guildford, because you’re away from everything, everything that happens seems to happen on the other side.  139  The gulf between Glenwood, its residents and the rest of Surrey was thus understood spatially, signified by which side of the Trans Canada Highway you lived on.  To this extent, residential differentiation was quite  sharp, both physically and symbolically.  Further, residents’ decisions to live  in Glenwood were the spatial expression of a class and familial identity. particular,  they  were  seeking  a  middle-class,  socially  In  homogeneous  neighbourhood where they, and their children, could be isolated from the dangers perceived to be elsewhere in Surrey.  Attempts were also made to  defend these borders, both overtly and subtly.  Ill. Berkshire Park. Fluid and Multiile Constructions of Difference  Whether Berkshire Park is a clearly bounded neighbourhood depends on how you look at it.  In conventional terms, it is an amorphous community  with blurred boundaries.  It is an ordinary or average Surrey subdivision: 28  house prices in early 1994 ranged from $180,000 to $220,000; it is nondescript in terms of house style, just one of many subdivisions springing up all over Fleetwood; and is populated by middle-income, generally dual earner, nuclear families.  Upon further investigation, subtle walls were  constructed around Berkshire through the spatialization of declining fortunes and middle-class identities.  Within the context of financial constraints,  moving to Berkshire was the spatial expression of an intent to be surrounded by middle-class, white families.  I explore these fluid and multiple boundaries  in this section. 28  Technically, Berkshire Park is the name of the subdivision in the centre of the block I am dealing with, as I show below. Most residents, however, would say that they lived in Berkshire Park, so I use this term for the whole area.  140 a. The Making of an Ordinary Subdivision Berkshire’s position in Surrey and its planning discourses establishes it as unexceptional, resembling the many small-scale subdivisions built over Surrey in the 1 980s.  A prime component of this is its geographical location  in the Fleetwood area of Surrey.  Historically, Fleetwood was a small  community within Surrey oriented toward New Westminster, not Vancouver. Until  1965 Fleetwood consisted of small farms and “rural-urban fringe  dwellers” and was a service centre for the Trans Canada Highway. 29  As  such, it consisted of a few small stores clustered around the highway. With the building of the Guildford Town Centre and the re-routing of the Trans Canada Highway its service function was eclipsed.  Planners then attempted  to create a new centre for Fleetwood by moving commercial businesses from the junction of 160th and the Fraser Highway to the corner of 1 52nd and the Fraser Highway. Fleetwood’s present social and symbolic attributes are an extension of this history. Evenden provides a useful summary: On making enquiries one soon realizes that Fleetwood is hardly known outside the District Municipality of Surrey. Even within the District its identity is problematical. Local government officials know it of course, and it appears in public documents as a spatial focus for community planning, albeit not of the first rank. It is known to those in commercial life who have conducted business in the area, especially if their dealings have occurred over a period of time. But some know it only to denigrate it as a place of any societal or social geographic consequence, preferring to think of it only as a resource, whose commercial areas are ripe for redevelopment, and whose legacy of small firms and urban sprawl makes land available for new 30 development.  29 30  ibid. p.225.  141 Evenden’s comments can be substantiated in a number of ways, of which the planning context is most important.  Current planning discourse sees  Fleetwood as exhibiting a “lack of identifiable entry” and “an indistinct identity from Newton and Guildford”. 31  In the 1983 Official Community Plan  and its subsequent amendments, Fleetwood is defined as one of the growth areas of Surrey.  Fleetwood’s meaning, therefore, is primarily as a place for  new housing developments, a representation repeated by developers and builders.  For instance, an advertisement for houses in Fleetwood in 1 987  (the time Berkshire was being occupied), sold them solely on the basis of price and convenience. 32 The fluidity of Berkshire is most evident in the composition of its built environment.  Although focused around an elementary school, I interviewed  households in three distinct but contiguous subdivisions, shown in Figure 4.5.  The first, called Westpark by the builder, is a compact lot subdivision  consisting of ninety-one lots. A compact lot subdivision is where the lots are smaller than usual, in this case the average lot size was 1 2 metres wide by 24 metres deep.  The developer is only allowed to build compact lots if the  small lot size is compensated by park space, in this case walkways and a park in the centre of the subdivision. The aim of such developments is to try and satisfy the demand for low cost housing while still providing a detached house.  The actual Berkshire Park subdivision was built by Father and Son  homes and consists of 102 houses, with no fancy entrance.  There were  some controls on the type of house one could build, but the only noticeable ones were shake roofs and no identical houses side by side. They were not important to residents. Advertising was not widespread and local knowledge 31  Planning Department, Surrey, 1 989 Annual Review of the Urban Residential Lands of the Official Community Plan, Surrey, p.36. 32 “Your choice: 53 new homes”, Surrey Leader, January 7, 1987, real estate section.  142 and show homes were deemed more important.  Figure 4.6, from the Surrey  Leader, demonstrates these points, advertising the house rather than the neighbourhood.  Wedged between these two developments were lots on  which builders would build speculatively and attempt to sell (a “spec” home) or residents would buy and build their own home.  Pat and Ken, whom I  interviewed, are representative of the first pattern.  Although they weren’t  looking for a newer house, they ended up buying a spec house because it was one of the few available in the area.  Sherri and Lee adopted the other  model: they bought a lot and then contracted a builder to construct the house that they had designed. Together, these three factors  -  location in Surrey, place identity of  Fleetwood and the amorphous character of residential development and house styles in Berkshire boundaries.  -  suggest the permeability of its social and spatial  Berkshire was neither spatially nor socially different; its houses  and residents seemed to gradually merge into their surroundings. This is also evident in Figure 4.5, depicting the variety of house styles and types that characterize the immediate vicinity of Berkshire.  Along the southern and  eastern edges of Berkshire are older, ranch style homes built at least thirty years ago.  Examples can be found in Figure 4.7.  The western edges are  solidly townhouses, designed primarily for seniors but also occupied by some families.  The northern edge, on the other side of the Hydro right-of-way, is  early 1980s AHOP housing.  Locationally, then, the boundaries around  Berkshire are to some extent nonexistent, for it is located in the middle of a heterogeneous area. Indeed, the neighbourhood was often nameless. It was given many names  -  Berkshire, Fleetwood, Guildford, “I don’t know”.  The  designations Berkshire or Berkshire Park stuck because of the name of the elementary school.  Further, the boundaries of the community were hard to  143 discern. In the end it appeared that the major roads  -  Fraser Highway, 1 52nd  and 1 56th streets, and the Hydro right-of-way defined the boundary. The fluidity of Berkshire’s boundaries was confirmed in conversations with residents.  As a place or neighbourhood with distinctive attributes, it  was not a factor motivating residents’ decisions to move there.  When I  asked why people had moved to Berkshire, the house rather than the neighbourhood was mentioned. Since most had not previously owned a house,  townhouse  or  apartment,  the  attainment  of  ownership  was  paramount. This desire for a house was expressed in a number of ways. For many, the stories they told about their house searching process cast Berkshire and their current house in a negative light.  For them,  Berkshire wasn’t their first choice, but was what they could afford. Tim and Traci just wanted to buy a house, stay near their family and get out of their Guildford town house.  Marie looked around North Delta where her family  lived, but because of affordability she was “forced” to move to Berkshire. Those from out of the Lower Mainland spoke at length of the geographical limitations on housing choice posed by the expensive Lower Mainland housing market.  Interestingly, however, they usually had some specific local  reason for choosing Surrey, like church contacts (Sherri, Bruce, Linda) or relatives (Andrew, Fran).  144  Hydro Right-at-Way I Edge of Berk\J  Elementary School  ——  _z_  Christian High School  _i  ——  _:_  ..  z:,  -  Legend -  S  I C  ri  Commerciat Townhouses Detached houses Scattered urban  Figure 4.5. Berkshire Park and Surroundings  metres  145  •  L.,  Designer Homes tor ihe Disàrim àting Buyer BERKSHIRE PARK...  J  • fl:J.  . .•—-.:..  •  : •  •  •  .  .•  -  -  ___  -  •  •  .  i  a......  -  jj  :  • •  • —  .  .  :  =  -  —_—  =1= = = =21 t:jI = h = = : == -—-.  —2 HMES TO CHOOSE FROM • cAsTLE.R!NEs:..,. 1692.Sq.Ft $119,900 • TWO STOREY.... 2000 Sq.Ft..... $129,900 • Vaulted cilings. Cdar shakes • Wood railings • Energy-efficient packages. • Full sized lot with front • lawn;. Decorative brass hardware • Oak cbiñets . Forced air heating • Dishwasher • Double garage • Soaker tubs. • 5-year limited home warranty CALL NOW AND CHOOSE THE COLOURS IN YOUR NEW DESIGNER HOME AUGUST 1st POSSESSION  Ron Heaver 594-3324 Marlin Van Heusen 588-5485 Figure 4.6. Advertising Berkshire Park Houses Source: Surrey Leader Real Estate Section, Wednesday July 2, 1 986, p. . 2  146  Figure 4.7. Older Housing in Berkshire Park  147 Relatedly, house searches were not neighbourhood specific.  For  instance, according to Mark: It was more financial oriented as opposed to, I think we were pretty much like all first time buyers, you tend to look at finances and find affordability first and deal with what’s available in that price range in terms of what you want for your own personal type of house. Important here is that Mark ends with “your own personal type of house”, not neighbourhood, even after affordability was taken into account.  This  substantial irrelevancy of the neighbourhood is also more starkly evident in the following quote from Ingrid: We had initially intended to build a home, which is why we wanted to move away from Langley, why we put our house up for sale. And we were wondering what to do in the interim, and then Henry’s uncle was selling this house, he had bought it for his daughter who decided to move up north so one day Henry’s mother phoned us and said there was this house out in Surrey, do you want to go look at it. So I think it was the same day that we headed out we came out here to have a look at it, it just seemed suitable for the time being, and it was about a week and it was all signed and we’ve been here ever since because we haven’t been able to afford to build a home. Ingrid appears to want to move to anywhere but Langley, and moving on a whim is indicative of a lack of planning or strict criteria.  148 Unlike the spatialization of the discourse of declining fortunes manifest in Glenwood, isolation and being away from Surrey were not valued. When I asked residents what they liked most about the area, in contrast to Glenwood residents who pointed to the merits of isolation, Berkshire households referred to the convenience and accessibility of the location.  Convenience  was a factor at three spatial scales: neighbourhood, Surrey and the Lower Mainland.  At the neighbourhood level, the location of the elementary and  high schools were cited as positive factors; as were the short distances to work and amenities.  Mary has a five minute walk to work from her house  and did not move until she first found a job in Surrey and second could live within walking distance of it.  Marie likes it that her children can walk to  school and her husband to the bus stop to take him downtown (via the Skytrain); whilst Traci, at home during the day without a car when Tim is working (he works shiftwork so is not always away during the day), says: I like the fact that I can walk to the store whenever I need anything, put the kids in the stroller and go for a walk. I like the fact that they’re putting a park in now, we didn’t have one before and it should be ready in the spring. At the Surrey scale, Bruce remarked that Berkshire was “centrally located and conveniently located in terms of shopping, transport and schools”.  Similarly, Berkshire has “easy access to everything” [Ken]. What  was most accessible were “the malls are up the street, the border is twenty minutes away” [Kurt], “there’s the theatres and the mall not too far” [Liz] and “Safeway’s only two minutes away, I go there almost every day to get fresh things”  [Marie].  Essentially,  the characteristics of Fleetwood  negative by Evenden and planners to major transport routes  -  -  deemed  commercial, retail facilities and proximity  were given a positive twist by residents and  became attributes of their neighbourhood.  149 Centrality in terms of the Lower Mainland was also a factor.  Both  Henry and Hal said it was central for their commutes to work and Henry adds: and also for Ingrid, because whenever she does something, or visits with her friends, its halfway for her to almost anything in the Lower Mainland. The following conversation between Joanne and Mark also illustrates the theme of centrality in Greater Vancouver: Mark: From a location standpoint this is excellent, as far as centralization in terms of the Fraser Valley. You can’t beat it, you have close access to Richmond, relatively close access to Burnaby and that area of Vancouver, and the Fraser Valley which speaks for itself. Joanne: Which was also a consideration for us because we’re both salespeople so we have to travel all over the Lower Mainland and we have to have easy access to wherever. Along with an amorphous character, Berkshire seemed to lack a distinguishable place identity in residents’ accounts of their move and lives there. Where it did have boundaries and identifiable characteristics was with respect to the elementary school.  The elementary school served to define  the subdivision as a particular type of place, both before and after residents moved in.  For instance, Barb and Sid had very strict criteria for where they  could live when they moved to Surrey from Calgary: We have three children, one in elementary, one going to junior secondary and another to senior secondary. So we needed school access, within walking distance, we didn’t want our children being bused and all the rest of it. And close enough for me to get to work [in New Westminster]. The specific characteristics of the school were also important. heard about its good reputation through the grapevine.  Some had  Part of Kurt and  Sharon’s motivation for moving was their dissatisfaction with the school in the previous area.  They had heard that in Berkshire the school was right in  150 the neighbourhood, an important factor for them since in their previous location their children had to cross a busy road to go to school. Further, the school “had such a good reputation”. Others felt an attachment to the neighbourhood via the school.  Linda  and Bruce were about to move after searching for a bigger house for more than two years.  It had taken them so long because Linda insisted that they  stay in the same school catchment area. She is adamant: “1 wouldn’t feel the same commitment to the neighbourhood or to hang around if it wasn’t for the school”.  About half the couples I interviewed (those who had previously  owned a house) had not moved very far.  Ken and Pat lived a short three  blocks away before their present home, which they had moved into solely because it was the only one available in the area when they were looking. They wanted to stay close because: But we wanted to stay in the area because we wanted to stay with the same friends and the same school, and didn’t want the disruption of carting them to miles away so that’s how we ended up here. We didn’t move too far. Similarly, Sherri and Dan moved a couple of blocks to their Berkshire house, partly for the school and partly for the amenities.  Those contemplating  moving, like Tim, would not move far: If we did move to a bigger house it would only be a couple of streets over, like this general neighbourhood. Indeed, Liz and Jess were living in Westpark when I interviewed them, and moved to Berkshire one week later. When I saw Liz while interviewing one of her friends, she told me they wanted a bigger house but in the same elementary school catchment area.  151 b. Making a (Bounded) Community of Families and Homeowners The stories I was told about reasons for moving to Berkshire and experiences there were ambiguous. socially decisions  exclusionary are  motives  obviously  On the one hand, as I showed above,  underlying  absent.  Berkshire  Convenience,  residents’  affordability  housing and  the  aspirations for homeownership, traditional factors in understanding residential location, appear to be primary. declining fortunes and  At other levels, however, some elements of  middle class spatialities are evident.  Negative  descriptions of Berkshire, for instance, were also ways that residents signalled to me that Berkshire was “beneath them”. As an example, Tim was careful to point out that this was not the last house they were going to live in, but that Berkshire was a spatial and temporal accommodation.  In this  sense moving to Berkshire was expressive of a particular phase in the life course, one that he hoped to also move beyond financially.  Further, the  designation of Berkshire as “ordinary” was implicitly social and spatial; living there was also a spatial manifestation of a young, middle-class, interpretation of Surrey and declining fortunes. As an ordinary neighbourhood, Berkshire was valued because of what it symbolized: a white (predominantly at least), family-oriented, non-welfare, “working person”, neighbourhood.  Although a virtual non-entity in terms of  place identity and recognition in popular geographies, location in Fleetwood was important because of what it was not. It is here that the racial backdrop to these residential location decisions sometimes surfaced, most often, for instance, through reference to symbolic geographies.  The Newton area of  33 and the landscape is Surrey is significantly populated by lndo-Canadians, 33  In 1 991, according to 1 991 Census data compiled by the Surrey Planning Department, Punjabi was the “mother tongue” of 11 .9 percent of Newton residents, compared to 4 percent in Guildford/Fleetwood.  152 dotted with Sikh temples, markets, 34 and different architectural styles. These characteristics were well known amongst those I spoke with.  In  comparison to Glenwood where families defined themselves as apart from Whalley, the Berkshire residents I spoke with did not want to live in Newton. According to Mary: We looked at Newton but it didn’t have a very good reputation. Guildford had a pretty good reputation. Most  often,  specifically.  the  racial  characteristics  of  Newton  weren’t  mentioned  However, other parts of conversation seemed to imply that the  descriptions were racially motivated. At this level, then, Berkshire’s position in Surrey  -  socially, spatially and symbolically  -  was an indicator of difference  that was used in the residential location decision, albeit in a negative way. A desire for social homogeneity was also manifest in the decision to move to, and life within, Berkshire Park.  Primary here was that there be  other children, and more specifically families, around. A particular position in the life cycle was actively sought. Part of the reason was practical: Marie: We asked a few neighbours before we moved in what it was like, the location, whether there were kids and stuff, so that they had somebody to play with. Sharon: We wanted to find an area with kids. In the old neighbourhood, actually the main reason we moved was there was no kids. Hal: everybody here has kids and they’re all roughly the same age, so you have something in common, a common bond  3  Harold Munro, 1 990, “Thriving Surrey bazaar caters to Indo-Canadian community”, The Vancouver Sun, May 22, p.A1.  153 However,  not  any  type  of family  would  be  acceptable.  neighbourhood also had to have homeowners, not renters.  The  According to  Jess: Everyone that moved in here, they were all younger and I guess our age sort of, but they were all buying their house too. A “community” of homeowners, especially in the starter homes of Berkshire, signified a particular family form: Andrew: It seems to be mostly younger families, or older people that don’t have kids anymore, they just want a nice or smaller home. This area is nice and they don’t want a big house. Darlene: These are good homes for like a starter home, so people move in then have children. And if you have little kids it’s great, but now that mine are getting older we’re lacking space. Most importantly, Berkshire was not a place for “welfare families”. Sharon, for instance, was looking for a neighbourhood with a particular type of child. She describes her old neighbourhood as: there was a house that was rented that kept shifting from different kids that were transient families. They weren’t my kind of kids. They didn’t have the same values as we did. and later: a lot of the townhomes were government subsidized and we just heard a lot of rumours that the kids weren’t being taken care of and we just didn’t want our kids to have that upbringing. And then we learned about this area through real estate agents, that in Berkshire Park the school is right in the subdivision it’s so easy, and the area was good. Berkshire, however, had people with similar values to her.  As described by  her husband Kurt: the people are a little bit more, not that Sharon and I are university scholars, but they’re [neighbours] are just  154 different, they teach their kids, a lot of kids are in piano lessons, and hockey, you know, more involvement in community. That’s what was lacking, no community. Nobody had a block watch. We have barbecues and block parties in summer, Christmas parties. Class was therefore central to good families, and Berkshire represented the right mix for them. It is important to note, as residents were quick to remind me, “you can’t pick your neighbours. You have to take a chance and live with the consequences” [Ron].  However, indirect strategies, based on the cultural  encoding of the built environment, were used to attain social homogeneity. Residents wanted to live in a new subdivision, one with houses roughly the same age.  Not only did newness imply a greater probability of social  homogeneity, new houses and subdivisions also symbolized a particular class fraction and nuclear families.  For Tim, it meant working people rather than  those on welfare: Robyn: Thought that a new area would be different? Tim: Yeah, more families, or once that in you’re in an area of more expensive houses you’re going to get people that are more, how do you say it, they’re working, and you don’t have to worry about them being on welfare, kids running around and causing problems. Bruce emphasized the sameness of the built environment: I thought it was great that the houses were all of a similar ilk, in this one area, because Surrey, characteristically not so much these days, was very mixed, very inconsistent, style and quality of houses you could find. You could find new houses in the middle of modern houses, little old ramshackle huts next door, and the fact that this was all similar style Consistency in the built environment meant consistency of social relations, since, in Sharon’s words, “all these homes would appeal to specific people”. These people were young families.  155 Robyn: What makes it friendly? Ingrid: I guess because a lot of the families are in the same circumstances. Some very young families with children, and similar knowledge is passed down. Hal: To me I like this neighbourhood because I find the people here are all basically working class people and they seem to enjoy their lifestyles at home. Robyn: What do you mean by working class? Hal: Everybody’s working, they’re not high income wage earners, they’re not low income, it’s all middle of the road. Ingrid: What I like is that things are all on a par. This is a typical, middle income subdivision. George: In the cul-de-sac we sort of do feel that we are part of a community because the people that we do know are very similar to us with younger families. A new neighbourhood was crucial here, for as Sam puts it: Robyn: Wanted to live with similar people? Sam: I think it causes less problems in the sense that if you go into a more mature area where there’s older people and young kids, you would expect there to be a conflict, and through no fault of any particular party if I was an elderly person and I had kids running across my front lawn while I was out gardening every day, that would probably be a bit annoying to me. Or throwing balls around or whatever. And Mark: [The neighbourhood matters], from an aesthetic standpoint, driving around looking at the area, seeing a lot of people that basically fit the same mould as what we are, you’ll find in this area that almost every house that you come to is pretty much in the same situation. As well as from an economic standpoint it pretty much fit into right where we were. Everybody was pretty much of the same sort of middle class, not to cast any prejudices towards them, but it was all middle class families that were all in the beginning stages of their family and it seemed to fit very nicely with what our thinking was.  156 These examples are indicative of more than a desire for homogeneity.  Class  in Berkshire, especially by the men, is experienced in terms of typicality. As long as everyone is in the same boat, they feel comfortable living there. 35 New neighbourhoods and Fleetwood also had racial subtexts. Andrew and Fran, for instance, wanted to move into a neighbourhood where all the houses were completed, specifically because they didn’t want to live near a “monster house”: Fran: And driving in it was all complete and everything and that appealed to us, we saw what was here. Andrew: We looked in some places where half the cul-de sac was finished but you never know what’s on the other half. Especially nowadays when there could be a monster home going up next door. My impression from this, and other, interviews was that monster houses necessarily meant Indo-Canadian residents.  Also part of the Surrey socio  spatial vocabulary is that the Indo-Canadian community build and live in different types of  houses.  In particular, the houses are seen to be two  storeys plus a basement, being capable of housing more than one family. Berkshire residents used this knowledge when choosing where to live. Marie explicitly used house style in her house hunting process. I don’t want them [Indo-Canadians] as my neighbours. There was one new area we were looking at, there were two lots there and we just sat there one day and watched, and all these houses, they don’t look like East Indian houses, but they all had ten cars and in and out were all these East Indians. I was surprised because the house didn’t look, it was a three level house with a basement which you couldn’t even see unless you were at the back. I don’t think it’s fair that they pay taxes when they’ve got three families in one house... They stuff our schools when they all live in one house. Non-Caucasians also made a socioeconomic difference: 3  Lyn Richards, 1 990, Nobody’s Home: Dreams and Realities in a New Suburb, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, finds the “all in the same boat” sentiment a source of social cohesion in her Australian studies.  157 Robyn: Most people here Caucasian? Hal: Not necessarily, no, that’s, I think the problem with the high school, this area like I said, it doesn’t matter what your ethnic background is, everybody in here is middle class and so we can go out and play volleyball together, it doesn’t matter about your ethnic background, but when you get a place like the high school where it’s drawing from all different economic levels, and my personal belief is that a lot of your ethnic battling comes from poverty or lack of money or lack of education. And I think that’s what happens here. To summarize, a subtle form of internal coherence was constructed, or The discourse of declining fortunes was  at least desired, in Berkshire.  invoked and spatialized, albeit in a different way than in Glenwood.  Fear of  families on welfare and non-white residents led to knowledge of the social and symbolic geographies of Surrey being used to choose to live in a new, complete subdivision in Fleetwood rather than Newton.  In this respect,  middle-class, white identity was spatialized. Further, the boundaries between residential neighbourhoods, apparently blurry in conventional terms, were quite distinct in symbolic terms. c. Boundary Maintenance For a variety of reasons  -  location, resources etc.  -  efforts at what I  term “boundary maintenance” were not as successful in Berkshire as they were  in  Glenwood.  Attempts were  certainly  made  to  maintain  the  neighbourhood as a place of and for the working, homeowning, family. Nevertheless, its position as a starter neighbourhood for young, homeowning families was being redefined during my interviews.  This was the product of  two inter-related processes: movement out of the neighbourhood and the resultant change in its social composition. Of the fifteen families I interviewed, five were either moving or contemplating moving in the next six months.  Liz and Jess, for instance,  158 moved within the subdivision to a bigger house the week after I spoke with them.  With the children getting older, Liz felt they needed a bigger house,  with, most importantly, two bathrooms.  Marie was also looking for a bigger  house, and this time they wanted to build their own.  Others were moving  because of what they perceived as a deterioration in the neighbourhood. Hal’s children were nearly of high school age and he was concerned about sending them to Johnston Heights High School: If we stayed in this, I would be going into hearsay, because I don’t know the high school, I’ve never set foot into it, from what I understand the high school has an ethnic problem. The resultant changing social character of the area was startling and worrying to residents: One thing that is happening right now is because it’s a starter neighbourhood the houses are cheaper and investors are starting to buy up and have rented out a couple of them. [Andrew] A number of houses have been sold and been bought by investors and put renters in them. It was universally acknowledged that the houses and yards of renters were different: George: Yeah, usually more rundown. People don’t take as good care of them. Not necessarily noisier, maybe a little more inconsiderate because they don’t feel as part of the neighbourhood as the rest of them. Sid: We can tell a renter’s house because of the change in the maintenance of the property. The previous owners were meticulous. Social relations were also different, particular social norms weren’t generally adhered to.  159 Traci: I think that people that rent their houses don’t seem to care as much, at least people that I’ve noticed around here they don’t care as much what happens to their house. We had renters across the street that had starlings inside the attic of their house and the siding was starting to peel off and they didn’t care. They just seem to think that it’s not their property so they don’t take as much care with it. ...  Tim: You don’t know who’s gonna move in, or what type of people you’re gonna get, you might get three guys who party all night. I worry about that. Are you going to get a crack house? You see that on TV all the time. But you wouldn’t get that around here. But you never know when it’s renters. Given  the  perceived  social  locations  “problems” with renters invariably surfaced. 36 were available and tried.  and  attitudes  of  renters,  Then a number of solutions  The first was ignoring them, which was often  taken. Complaints to more official bodies could be made, as Tim recalled: Here, we’ve had a lot of people, some of the renters really let their yards go really bad to the point I even, I would generally never do this, but I had to complain to city hail. Just because their grass was too high, and it was distracting for cars coming round the corner, you couldn’t see them. More common was for the surrounding neighbours (usually the men) to get together and approach the offenders.  The story of one instance is told  by Bruce: We’ve had a lot of trouble with renters, especially with the house next door to us. The house right adjacent to us was sold I guess about twelve months after we moved in, and the first four lots of tenants that we had were just awful and we had real trouble with them, with dogs, not cleaning up the mess, music, loud, late at night, and now fortunately they do have fairly good tenants. Strategies like suggesting the tenants hire Darlene’s sons to mow the lawns and phoning the real estate agent and/or owner in the middle of the night 36 It wasn’t by design that I didn’t interview any renters, thus my discussion  is of the views of homeowners.  160 when they had been wakened by the tenants, successfully.  were employed, often  Another, and far more preferable, solution was to wait till the  current tenants moved and pressure the landlord to rent to a family.  A  traditional family was far more acceptable: Mark: We were saying maybe what you should do is look for families and put families in there and things will probably go a lot smoother. Joanne: Which has now happened. Mark: Yeah, they’re a couple from England. Their kids have heavy accents, it was funny to watch the intermingling of the kids. These attempts to maintain homogeneity in Berkshire had, until now, mixed success.  It is important to note, however, that the actual Berkshire Park  subdivision was partially immune to the influx of renters.  It was the  destination of people moving out of Westpark, and the turnover of population was low. d. Bounding Home If the boundaries around Berkshire were blurred and ambiguous, then the walls around house and home were well-defined.  When a more openly  cultural perspective on the spatialization of middle-class life is adopted, different forms of boundaries become apparent.  A trend throughout the  neighbourhood was the building of walls around home and family, especially in Westpark, where the distance between neighbours was small physically. There, privacy or more specifically lack of privacy was a universal concern. Henry was most disturbed: we thought of all the close homes and small spaces around the homes, sort of a lack of privacy, and we’re exactly in that situation. Our neighbours when they’re barbecuing their patio is on the second level so they can look down onto our yard.  161 According to Mary: Actually that’s one of my big gripes, because you can always hear what’s going on next door and you don’t really want everybody to know all the time, all families argue. Responses to the sense that personal space was being invaded were varied. Most saw one positive aspect, summarized by Mary: It’s funny, we have a block watch programme but we don’t really need it because in this particular cul-de-sac you can see everything that goes on anyway. Another reaction was to set up intangible barriers to combat the lack of physical space between neighbours.  Henry, for instance, had put a sign on  his door saying “do not disturb” so that his children could spend time with their parents. As he puts it: We don’t want to over involve our kids and that it’s not necessary for them to have their friends around all the time. Notably, however, these feelings were unusual. More widespread were definitions of “good neighbour” that maintained social distance, as expressed by Ingrid: I didn’t make a point of going out to get to know them and neither did they; it was more a sense of regarding each other’s privacy because we were so close here. Friends and neighbours were different, according to Liz: we’re not great friends with a lot of them but I mean they’re good neighbours in that sense. Cordial, they’ll say hi and what not, and that’s what I figure a neighbour is. And Joanne: It’s not, we don’t do a lot of social things, we chat outside in the summer time or you watch over each other’s homes so they weren’t, you don’t get to know them on a really close basis.  162 A good neighbour, therefore, was one who helped out in times of crisis, watched property, but kept their distance socially.  Mary, for instance, was  adamant that her neighbours were not friends.  IV. Conclusion: The Racialization and Intertwining of Declining Fortunes and New Traditionalism  In this chapter I have asked two inter-related questions: how is white, middle-class, familial identity, in the context of declining fortunes, spatialized; and what insight is gained by initiating a conversation between two different perspectives on the boundaries of suburbs.  I have suggested that the  perception that Surrey is a sea of trouble, crime and chaos, and that a relatively homogeneous living space is most desirable, guided residents’ decisions about where to live, and was spatially manifested in the erection of symbolic and physical walls around those living spaces.  Practices within the  neighbourhoods reconstituted these places and fortified the walls that had been built, with the subdivisions seen as white, middle-class, familial oases. Symbolic geographies, in terms of knowledge about particular places and people, were central to these processes. Thus suburban exclusion appears to have been recreated, but in response to different imperatives, which in these case studies were the perceived disintegration of family life, a “fear” of falling, and the racial heterogeneity that surrounded the white, family, people of Berkshire and Glenwood. Although forged within the general categories of declining fortunes and new traditionalism, practices and ideologies with respect to exclusion differed between the two neighbourhoods.  Part of this difference is due to life  course, with Glenwood expressive of a more settled, later “stage” and  163 Berkshire of those identifying themselves as “starting out”, differences I consider further in the next chapter.  But the differences can also be traced  to financial security and its cultural and spatial expression.  In Glenwood,  there was seen to be nothing wrong with exclusivity and boundaries, and residents could afford (in terms of both time and money) to continue to isolate themselves and their children.  These desires were not articulated in  racial terms, maybe because non-white families were not seen to be a threat since they were so far away.  In Berkshire, however, Glenwood was viewed  as “snobby”, and the desire for isolation was criticized on the grounds that children should learn to be part of society, whatever that was, and anyway, isolation would not work. Yet race was clearly invoked by residents, perhaps because of the immediacy of racial tension, especially at the high school.  In  both cases, then, we are beginning to see fractures, accommodations and recastings of declining fortunes and new traditionalism.  In the following two  chapters I further differentiate these ideals along the lines of gender and the meaning of the home.  164 CHAPTER FIVE GENDER CLASS AND HOME: PLACING THE CONNECTIONS And it’s safe, you feel that once you get home you don’t feel very vulnerable at all. It covers a whole spectrum of emotions, there’s physical things about your home as well as emotional parts that are kind of intangible. Like when you get back from a long trip you’re always happy to be at home because your home has that sort of, you walk up these stairs and you sit down on the chesterfield and say thank god I’m home. It’s certainly not because our chesterfield is any more comfortable than the one you’re [me] sitting on, but it’s just that feeling you get when you get home, has a lot to do with that environment. It’s kind of a family home. That’s what this has become, a family home. It’s our investment, it’s a growing investment, to me it’s our investment to the future, we financially made some arrangements, we don’t have a lot of insurance anymore, but what we have is in our house, and our house may be paid for in a few years. It’s our investment for retirement, as long as we have this, and we’ve paid for it, we can sell it some day and it will be worth a deal of money. So if you’re looking at pension plans that are going down the tubes and everything else, it’s our security, it’s what we have that’s of value, so it’s our safe place and it’s our security for the future. Contrary to common expectations, the first quote is from a man, the second a woman.  I say contrary because the alignment of men with  emotional and familial meanings of home, and a relation between women and the investment and social class aspects of housing, are not captured by contemporary understandings of the meaning of home in western, urban 1 societies. 1  Despite (and maybe because of) Peter Saunders’ claim that  There are many “meanings of home” security, haven, comfort, family, investment to name a few, as outlined In Robert Rakoff, 1 977, “Ideology in everyday life: the meaning of the house”, Politics and Society, 7,1, pp. 85-105; and more recently in Richard Harris and Geraldine Pratt, 1 993, “The meaning of home, homeownership and public policy” in L. Bourne and D. Ley, eds. The Changing Social GeograDhv of Canadian Cities, Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queens University Press. I focus on the meaning of homeownership in a particular way in this -  -  165 gender doesn’t differentiate meanings of home, 2 gender is increasingly recognized as modifying the social relations of housing production and 3 consumption.  However, the links between gender, class and home are  conceptualized in limited ways that perpetuate the masculinist view that homeownership has more class significance for men than women, and that the familial aspects of home are more important to women than men. The positing of limited links between gender, class and home is common throughout the housing literature. Ray Forrest and Alan Murie’s oftcited “Affluent homeowners”, for instance, flattens the familial aspects of their respondents’ accounts of their housing moves. 4  Forrest and Murie  devote much attention to one executive and his housing history.  On my  reading of this executive’s story, children and schools appear important motivating factors, 5 yet Forrest and Murie ignore this to highlight the importance of housing subsidies and a concern with the investment value of housing. A consideration of men as providers would not necessarily mitigate chapter, as I outline below. Other aspects of home meanings are excluded, such as design Louise Johnson, 1994, “(Text)ured brick”, Australian Geographical Studies, and Ruth Madigan and Moira Munro, 1991, “Gender, house and ‘home”, Journal of Planning Education and Research, 8,2, pp.117-31; working at home work Kathleen Christensen, 1 993, “Eliminating the journey to work: home-based work across the life course of women in the United States” in Cindi Katz and Janice Monk, eds., Full Circles: Geographies of Women across the Life Course, London and New York: Routledge, pp.55-87; and sexuality Gill Valentine, 1993, “(Hetero)sexing space: lesbian perceptions and experiences of everyday spaces”, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 11, pp. 41 3. 395 2 Peter Saunders, 1 989, “The meaning of “home” in contemporary English culture”, Housing Studies, 4,3, . 92 For a rebuttal see Moira 177 pp. Munro and Ruth Madigan, 1 993, “Privacy in the public sphere”, Housing Studies, 9,1, pp.29-45. Ruth Madigan, Moira Munro and Susan J. Smith, 1990, “Gender and the meaning of the home”, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 14, . 47 625 pp. Ray Forrest and Alan Murie, 1 987, “The affluent homeowner: labour market position and the shaping of housing histories” in Nigel Thrift and Peter Williams, eds. Class and Space: The Making of Urban Society, London and New York: Routledge, pp.330-59. 5 See especially p.348. -  -  -  -  -  166 Forrest and Murie’s story, but could enhance it by situating the affluent homeowner as male. 6  Work on women and housing similarly fails to  adequately consider the status aspirations embedded in homeownership for women.  Although the differential access of women to homeownership is  well documented, 7 women’s experiences of homeownership, in class terms, is comparatively unknown.  But if we take the claim that analysis of the  meaning of the home needs to be conducted at the individual, rather than 8 then it follows that the possibility of multiple inter-relations household, level, between gender, class and home need to be acknowledged at the outset. My aim in this chapter is to complicate our understanding of gendered and classed meanings of the home by documenting how homeownership has familial and status meanings for both men and women.  However, by  exploring these meanings through the lens of place, I also wish to show how they are determined by specific contexts, and, consequently, that relations between gender, class and home are also geographically variable.  The  concept of place I focus on in this chapter is that of “local cultures of property”, a notion that acknowledges place-specific attitudes towards, and 9 I use the concept to demonstrate the practices within, the housing market. variable contexts in which different meanings of home are produced and 6  Geraldine Pratt adopts a similar strategy in a reconsideration of her work on homeownership and identity, noting that homeownership appeared to be central to middle-class male rather than female identity. See Geraldine Pratt, 1 990, “On the reproduction of academic discourse: class and the spatial structure of the city” paper presented at the AAG, Toronto, April. ‘ Munro and Smith find, for instance, that women’s “attainment” of homeownership is dependent on having a partner, not income, whereas for men income and occupation are the primary factors. Moira Munro and Susan J.Smith, 1989, “Gender and housing: broadening the debate”, Housing Studies, 4,1, pp.3-17. See also Sophie Watson, 1988, Accommodating lneguality, Sydney: Allen and Unwin. 8 Madigan and Munro, 1991, op.cit. 9 In this sense my analysis builds upon Marc Choko and Richard Harris, 1 990, “The local culture of property: a comparative history of housing tenure in Montreal and Toronto”, Annals of the Association of American Geograrhers, 80,1, pp.73-95.  167 interpreted.  In terms of the aims of the thesis, my consideration of actual  homes in this chapter is also an attempt to suggest another imbrication of place and identity.  As will be evident by the end of the chapter, actual  homes and the ideals that construct them are insightful indications of the way practices and meanings of a place are drawn upon in situating identity. This chapter is also implicitly about the senses of home that are seen to be most appropriate to new traditionalist lives within the context of “declining fortunes”. Talking about class in relation to the home is fraught with dangers of misinterpretation, historically involving debates about different theories of class and the importance of homeownership to class consciousness and 10 I therefore use the term class in a very specific way in this fragmentation. chapter.  Working within a Weberian template, 11 I focus on social class,  which refers to a cluster of class situations (defined in relation to market capacities), that are linked by common  life chances and consumption  12 Social class includes both positions in relation to power and the patterns. market, and the consumption patterns and evaluations of that position. Social class is dynamic, emerging out of the