Title

Unequal Development at the Local Level: A Case Study of Lakewood, Washington

Presenter Information

Stefan Turner

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

Higher Education Center Bldg 29 - Des Moines Center

Start Date

19-5-2015

End Date

19-5-2015

Keywords

Unequal Development, Community, Growth Coalition

Abstract

How can we explain the emergence and persistence of extremely uneven urban development? The concept of uneven development is most often used at the national level of analysis, but we argue that it not only has application, but serves to identify even more striking inequalities, at the local level. The community of South Lakes, formerly Tillicum, in Lakewood, Washington, is one of the poorest in the United States. It has endured decades of poverty and neglect. It is, however, within easy walking distance of the Lakewood community of Gravelly Lake which is a residential neighborhood where the median household income is above the 75 percentile for the United States as a whole. How can we make sense of this stark juxtaposition of affluence and need, deprivation and luxury? To unravel this puzzle, we draw on two bodies of sociological theory, Domhoff’s theory of local power elites, and Logan and Molotch’s theory of growth coalitions, to analyze the political economy of uneven development in Lakewood, Washington. Our data are drawn from the United States Census Bureau’s Decennial Census 2000 and 2010, and various years of the American Community Survey between 2005 and 2013, as well as Census Bureau data on local government finances. We also analyze City of Lakewood City Council voting records, Lakewood City Council Meetings Minutes, local election campaign contributions, project reports, and vendor contracts.

Poster Number

1

Faculty Mentor(s)

Michael Mulcahy

Department/Program

Sociology

Additional Mentoring Department

Sociology

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
May 19th, 2:00 PM May 19th, 5:30 PM

Unequal Development at the Local Level: A Case Study of Lakewood, Washington

Higher Education Center Bldg 29 - Des Moines Center

How can we explain the emergence and persistence of extremely uneven urban development? The concept of uneven development is most often used at the national level of analysis, but we argue that it not only has application, but serves to identify even more striking inequalities, at the local level. The community of South Lakes, formerly Tillicum, in Lakewood, Washington, is one of the poorest in the United States. It has endured decades of poverty and neglect. It is, however, within easy walking distance of the Lakewood community of Gravelly Lake which is a residential neighborhood where the median household income is above the 75 percentile for the United States as a whole. How can we make sense of this stark juxtaposition of affluence and need, deprivation and luxury? To unravel this puzzle, we draw on two bodies of sociological theory, Domhoff’s theory of local power elites, and Logan and Molotch’s theory of growth coalitions, to analyze the political economy of uneven development in Lakewood, Washington. Our data are drawn from the United States Census Bureau’s Decennial Census 2000 and 2010, and various years of the American Community Survey between 2005 and 2013, as well as Census Bureau data on local government finances. We also analyze City of Lakewood City Council voting records, Lakewood City Council Meetings Minutes, local election campaign contributions, project reports, and vendor contracts.