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Redesigning the American Dream: Gender, Housing, and Family Life

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Winner of the National Endowment for the Arts Award for Excellence in Design Research, the Paul Davidoff Award for an Outstanding Book in Urban Planning, the Vesta Award for Feminist Scholarship in the Arts, and an ALA Notable Book Award: a provocative critique of how American housing patterns impact private and public life.

Americans still build millions of dream houses in neighborhoods that sustain Victorian stereotypes of the home as 'woman's place' and the city as 'man's world.' Urban historian and architect Dolores Hayden tallies the personal and social costs of an American 'architecture of gender' for the two-earner family, the single-parent family, and single people. Many societies have struggled with the architectural and urban consequences of women's paid employment: Hayden traces three models of home in historical perspective―the haven strategy in the United States, the industrial strategy in the former USSR, and the neighborhood strategy in European social democracies―to document alternative ways to reconstruct neighborhoods.

Updated and still utterly relevant today as the New Urbanist architects have taken up Hayden's critique of suburban space, this award-winning book is essential reading for architects, planners, public officials, and activists interested in women's social and economic equality.

Dolores Hayden


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