Boosterism Breeds Suburbanization: Bunkerton

Cynthia Loula

in Newcomers to Old Towns

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print January 2003 | ISBN: 9780226734125
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226734118 | DOI:
Boosterism Breeds Suburbanization: Bunkerton

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This chapter presents a case study of the role of boosterism in the suburbanization process in the rural town of Bunkerton, Illinois. After decades of decline, merchant-led initiatives achieved a population gain of 5.5% in the 1990s, which represented a small influx of newcomers. These newcomers are blue-collar and lower-middle-class families attracted by the small-town ambience, the fine old homes and the good schools. Their presence resulted in tensions between tendencies to suburbanize and resistance to these trends by both oldtimers and the newcomers who long for an agrarian community. This chapter also provides tables showing the changes in the demographic and employment profiles of Bunkerton from 1980 to 2000.

Keywords: boosterism; suburbanization; rural town; Bunkerton; Illinois; agrarian community; newcomers

Chapter.  7850 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Urban and Rural Studies

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