Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




“Growing Diversity: Urban Renewal, Community Activism, and the Politics of Cultural Diversity in Uptown Chicago, 1940-1971” examines the development of one of the nation’s most culturally and economically diverse neighborhoods. This character resulted from a historical process centered on the shifting politics of cultural diversity itself. Boosters, urban renewal and redevelopment advocates, community activists, and low-income residents defined diversity on their own—often competing—terms. These dynamics manifested in urban planning and architecture, working-class and middle-class leisure, radical community organizing, and film. Beyond the demographic development of social and economic heterogeneity, “Growing Diversity” traces the ways that historical processes influenced the ways that people defined and used the ideal of cultural diversity. In Uptown no conception of diversity ever completely prevailed, and the conflicts and cross-fertilization of ideals inscribed itself on the infrastructure of the neighborhood and the consciousness of its residents.

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