An Analysis of Fleming’s Chapter “Suburbia”- Reading analysis 3


In part five of David Fleming’s City of Rhetoric, Fleming discusses the rhetorical space of the modern day Suburbia. He focuses primarily on Schaumburg, Illinois and notes how these new suburban towns have been primarily occupied by the white middle class, leaving little to no room for black or people of color residents. This causes these residents to reside in oppressive conditions in the city and leaves little to no room for expansion. Fleming goes on to discuss “Chicagoland” and how this metropolitan area is reconstructed by decentralization, fragmentation, and polarization. Focusing primarily on decentralization, it tracks the way that “middle and upper-class whites moved first their homes and then their stores… out of central cities into the outlying regions around the city.” This illustrates that white people take the initiative in order to protect their lifestyle. Fleming tries to illustrate the different methods white people do this, but overall he makes us question how we have seen this illustrated within our own rhetorical communities. Once they feel like that lifestyle is threatened, we see an influx of them moving outward.

Fleming captures the rhetorical space of Suburbia in a very specific way and makes it understandable because as a society we can see it happening before our eyes. He gives multiple statistics to support his claims and offers a wide range of historical examples to bring substance to his argument. It is clear that the moving out of white individuals into these suburbias is continuing at a rapid pace. But as more and more people of color are making more money and moving into these spaces, we see a divide within the Suburbia. Fleming gives the reader background into what has happened prior with white people moving from these urban areas. Since there is such an influx of individuals moving into Suburbia, it is hopeful that this divide will no longer stand and the socioeconomic status of these suburbians will become equivalent. It is worthy to not that this may never happen due to historical background and the way the system is set up. Those who are continuously oppressed will not become the oppressor, instead, they become a catalyst to the system.

This is a picture of a primarily Chicago suburb. It is compared to a primarily black suburb in the same city (shown below).

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