Date of Award

12-2007

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Major

Sociology

Major Professor

Jon Shefner

Committee Members

Paul Gellerg, Robert Gorman

Abstract

Using growth machine theory, this study examines the newly built "lifestyle center" of the suburban Turkey Creek development and the redevelopment of the Gay Street corridor in downtown Knoxville, TN. Growth machine theory is one of sociology's predominant theories used to understand development and growth projects in metropolitan areas, and although not specifically defined in current literature, I suggest there are many differences in suburban and urban growth machines. This study examines the local dependency and organization of pro-growth coalitions; the tactics, ideology, and culture used to promote development projects; and community reactions. Upon completion of this project, I found that urban and suburban growth machines differed in local dependency and level of community opposition, but utilized similar tactics, ideology, and culture. Furthermore, several themes emerged at the conclusion of this project- the attempts to structure social life around retail centers, suburbanization, and the increasing influence of growth language in everyday life- the further impact increasing pro-growth coalition influence.

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