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Spaces of Exclusion; Places of Belonging

Faculty Member

Deanna Barenboim



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The misrepresentation of mobile home communities within media and popular culture has created an image of vagrants and criminals from a population in the pursuit of an affordable independence. Mixed with the effort to hide these communities from suburban and city life, as well as portraying them as a “dying out” trend of the late 20th century, these stereotypes increase the political vulnerability of those living in mobile homes. In reflection of the problem over the course of this study, the original analysis and criticism of representation grows into a deeper study of solidarity. The ostracization felt by rural and low-income communities due to the being mocked and belittled for living outside of the “picture-perfect” suburban utopia of the 1950s image of the American Dream creates a widespread camaraderie in which traits seen as negatively low-class or “trashy” are reclaimed as desirable and worthy of pride. In further exploring the self-created identity of this community on the periphery, examples will be taken from documentaries, personal narratives, and country music.

Publication Date

Fall 2019

Document Type

Research Paper


misrepresentation, mobile home, solidarity, suburban, community, stereotypes, politics


Inequality and Stratification | Place and Environment | Politics and Social Change | Regional Sociology | Social Psychology and Interaction

Mobile Homes and a Peripheral Solidarity