The American suburb—a social and geographic space typically consisting of single-family homes and economically connected to nearby cities in which suburban homeowners (usually male) work—emerged in the mid–nineteenth century. Suburbia expanded rapidly around the turn of the twentieth century due to the growth of white-collar work and the impact of new transportation systems such as the railroad and street cars, and again during the 1950s due to the increased popularity of the automobile. The experience of suburban living combined several existing concepts of masculinity with new social experiences to form a new kind of male identity. Both conceptually and in reality, suburban manhood was contradictory: Men sought to reconcile the autonomy of independent property ownership with the loss of control entailed in white-collar office work, ...

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