Chapter 4: Assimilation and Appropriation: Contest and Collaboration in Global Suburbia

  • Joseph George


As vividly illustrated by Richard Nixon’s 1959 “Kitchen Debate” with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, the suburb has become the physical manifestation of the American Dream and a demonstration of exceptionalism for the rest of the world. Some immigrants and ethnic groups traditionally excluded from the American community see suburbia as a means to achieving their American Dream. This chapter traces this dynamic in American / Pastoral by Philip Roth, The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, and Mona in the Promised Land by Gish Jen. By rejecting the notion of a monolithic American character, these stories reaffirm the potential for ethics in suburbia, positioning it as a space for not only cosmopolitan contact, but also the conflicts and interrupts essential to subjectivity.


Identity Construction American Dream Deep Time Migrant Life Suburban House 
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© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph George
    • 1
  1. 1.University of North Carolina at GreensboroGreensboroUSA

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