What Happened to Gender Relations on the Way from Chicago to Los Angeles?



From the Chicago human ecologists to the Los Angeles postmodernists, urban theorists have tried to understand how space is structured by technological, political, economic, and cultural forces; gender is seldom examined. Yet both women’s status and urban form underwent significant changes following World War II. As the home became less predictably the center of women’s lives, the monocentric city was evolving into the polycentric metropolis. This article suggests that gender relations also have spatial implications for the metropolis, and that urban theory would be more comprehensive if it incorporated historically parallel developments in the literature on gender and space.