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Contested WatersA Social History of Swimming Pools in America$
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Jeff Wiltse

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780807831007

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807888988_wiltse

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CSO for personal use (for details see http://www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 13 December 2017

“Alone in the Backyard”: Swimming Pools in Recent America

“Alone in the Backyard”: Swimming Pools in Recent America

Chapter:
(p.181) Chapter 7 “Alone in the Backyard”: Swimming Pools in Recent America
Source:
Contested Waters
Author(s):

Jeff Wiltse

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807888988_wiltse.12

This chapter examines the redefinition of municipal swimming pools in the northern United States that began in the Progressive Era, when large cities designed pools to combat crime and juvenile delinquency. It looks at the proliferation of private pools after 1950, most of them located in the suburbs, and the factors driving this dramatic growth, including economic prosperity, mass suburbanization, and lower costs of pool construction. The chapter also considers the impact of the privatization of swimming pools on the quality of community life in America, and particularly on the poor and working class. Finally, it describes the social and cultural meanings Americans attached to swimming pools at the end of the twentieth century.

Keywords:   municipal swimming pools, United States, crime, juvenile delinquency, economic prosperity, suburbanization, privatization, community life, poor, working class

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