Event—Tour

Anthony Pratcher II, Brown University

The Labor of Leisure: Civic Boosters, Labor Unions, and the Lifestyle Economics of Sunbelt Capitalism

The Labor of Leisure: Civic Boosters, Labor Unions, and the Lifestyle Economics of Sunbelt Capitalism

After World War II, the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce and the Arizona AFL-CIO simultaneously championed a “leisure lifestyle” as the foundation of the local political economy. Chamber elites sought to attract white-collar workers by promoting the benefits of a “leisure lifestyle” to corporate executives. In contrast, labor unions helped homebuilders make suburban living affordable for blue-collar workers through innovative building practices. The development of a leisure economy formed a foundation for the ascendency of the Arizona Republican Party by creating consensus between labor and management.

Respondents: Geraldo Cadava, Northwestern University and Josh Salzmann, Northeastern Illinois University