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This article draws on preliminary research into the social history of Melbourne, on the ways that suburban life in the post-World War II era provides both explanation and counterweight to persistently negative stereotypes of suburbia. Over recent decades, suburban histories have been eschewed in favour of historical reconsiderations of the inner city or the bush. The history of the Australian suburb, particularly since 1945, is yet to be written. Oral history and municipal archives will be crucial to the writing of such histories. The article suggests several research pathways, including intergenerational life stories, a wider scale of geographical analysis, and a subtler reading of cultural conformity and social differentiation.
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Keywords: Melbourne; N9; N97; suburbia; urban history

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Melbourne

Publication date: 2009-03-01

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