Publication Date

April 2016

Advisor(s)

Jonathan Cutler

Major

Sociology

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

How do you understand the fall of a great American city? Detroit and its many successes and failures have often been an object of fascination in the eyes of the media. Musicals, films, commercials, and literature are only some of the cultural elements that have created a narrative around the city. Today, the discourse that surrounds Detroit has become critically important to the future of the city—especially as a wave of white entrepreneurs and artists gentrify this predominantly African American city. Through an examination of three thematic eras, I attempt to track how narratives of Detroit, Michigan have been woven into our collective social imagination.

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