Sunbelt scholarship and silos

Lucas Richert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The last five years have witnessed a series of books exploring the post–World War II rise and growth of the American West and South, an area of the United States sometimes called the Sunbelt. The term, coined in1969 by Kevin Phillips, identified a rather amorphous region that was undergoing rapid transformation and was, therefore, vital for long-term Republican electoral success. However, scholars do not universally accept the “Sunbelt Phenomenon,” nor has the concept produced intellectual consensus. Instead, authors are now rethinking previous methodologies about the United States after World War II and reformulating the configuration of social, political, and economic categories of analysis. The Sunbelt concept is now being renegotiated. In recent years, works by Michelle Nickerson and Darren Dochuk; Jeff Roche; Elizabeth Tandy Shermer; and Kim Phillips-Fein and Julian Zelizer have signalled the energy of the debates as well as the evolving literature as a whole. Problematically, as much as this new literature shows expansion, the scholarship also demonstrates a small, though consequential, silo mentality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-554
Number of pages8
JournalCanadian Review of American Studies
Volume44
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2014

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Keywords

  • Sunbelt
  • post-World War II
  • United States
  • Kevin Phillips
  • historiography
  • silo

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