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Goth Babe Neighborhoods — An Urban Thesis

(c) 2007 J.D. Chapman All Rights Reserved


Abstract

Social researchers have long investigated and understood the grouping of individual humans based on common interests in terms of utility and self-reinforcing actions; birds of a feather flock together. We can however apply the autocorrelation traits of similar people to scales larger than immediate social groupings. The fundamental proposition of this essay is that whole neighborhoods develop indirectly along the lines promoted by the mature female inhabitants as a result of the interrelationship of culturally affected mating traits. Women leverage their social talents, sensitivities, and instincts toward fashion and aesthetics to determine the "encoded" cultural structure of entire neighborhoods.


I. Introduction

Like most folks I've lived in and visited a large number of urban areas, towns, and neighborhoods. When I compare them sequentially in my mind in a rapid-fire panorama what strikes me with a lasting impression is the underlying characteristics that determine the Gestalt of each location. How does it come to be that Studio City has small perfectly manicured houses and artsy residents but Woodland Hills has enormous ranch homes and nearly no culture? Why does Ojai smell of pear blossom but Lodi smell like truck fumes? What draws people to live in each place... what are the self-organizing principles that make Santa Monica the center of Pomo Art Nouveau or Carmel the home of the hapless sobbing Zen rich?

In this thesis I introduce ideas about what makes a neighborhood a neighborhood, why people gravitate to live where they do, and how basic human factors (primarily those of women) play into the dynamics of the creation and destruction of civic personality. My premise is that the sociological characteristics of people determine where they live. Although environmental fortuity or resource availability may set the stage for whether or not an area gets settled, after initial habitation the segmentation of a city into neighborhoods happens primarily based upon the interplay of cultural or anthropological factors.

In this paper I speculate about societies in which the civic structure is free of traditional, religious, or ethnic groupings — mostly in the context of non-segregated Western secular societies. The crux of my observation is that in societies unhampered by the historical remnants of class or religious allegiance the female quintessence exerts a strong influence upon the development of neighborhoods. I propose five large classifications that interplay to drive the spectrum: culture, suffering, beauty, pretense, and liberalism. Between them they set the tone of the neighborhood and serve as the basis for the Gestalt. I will also examine how these cultural factors influence physical aspects of a neighborhood such as traffic and pedestrian patterns, urban planning, cultural events, architectural design, and shopping styles.

I begin with a quick review of how urban environments may change on large scales followed by a digression into how humans initially tend to cluster into groups driven by sociological or psychological factors. After that I explore the non-ethnic factors that contribute to the longer-term personality of neighborhoods in highly assimilated multicultural urban metropolises. I then speak to aspects of female beauty and the strong influence that this has upon the characteristics of a neighborhood. Then we take a brief diversion to review the idea of "culture" — how residents manufacture a series of cues to manage their environment. Next I touch upon how people suffer their pain and loss and how this may group them together. After that I speak to the subject of pretense. Then I flip the perspective on wealth and conservatism by arguing for an ethical underpinning that conglomerates like-minded individuals. Finally I conclude with a handful of case studies and a summary.


II. The Changing Character of Urban Life

We might argue that physical reality plays a large role in how urban environments develop — it /could/ be all a matter of electrodynamics, physics, and chemistry. Proponents of this viewpoint would argue that the present state of a neighborhood's location and environment is the result of its past physical, chemical, informational, and mechanical changes.

Every neighborhood has a history of both planned and incidental physical changes. People bring in materials to build residences. Merchants set up shop. Utility companies place gas, water and electric lines, the government builds sewage lines and treatment facilities, picks up the trash, builds roads and schools. People plant their yards, the government landscapes the public places, and large businesses or philanthropic organizations build public spaces with character. Media publishes papers and fills the radio and television airwaves. Like a car that is built out of plastic, steel, and glass, all of the components of a city come together through a complicated process that involves luck, design, and the blending of components that result in an object greater than its pieces.

Rather than producing large homogenous equally mixed neighborhoods this process develops areas with distinct personalities. Geographic empirical studies (see Fellmann, Getis and Getis, 2003) have found that stratification according to social status usually exhibits spatial groupings consistent with the sectorial model of a city (Hoyt, 1939). In contrast, stratification according to family status often takes the shape of concentric rings (Burgess, 1925) whereas stratification according to ethnic status usually occurs in one or several nuclei within a metropolitan area (Harris and Ullman, 1945). In other words, far from a process of simply adding materials and resources to transform vacant land into uniform neighborhoods, social status, family status, and ethnic status play influential roles over where people settle and hence set the personality and characteristics of neighborhoods.

Initially urban environments develop in the vicinity of natural resources or employment opportunities (W.C. Strange, 2005). Cities change based upon the internal movement of their inhabitants, the influx of new immigrants, or the emigration of businesses, age groups, or ethnicities. Cities can change style and personality mappable to a couple of time vectors. For a bird flying in the sky the scenery changes as he moves through space even while the whole atmosphere changes from the slow migration of weather patterns. Similarly for a city the population changes from an influx of immigrants and internal resident relocation, even while global changes in technology powerfully influence the value of natural resources and employment styles.

In modern times the urban structure is no longer limited to metropolitan areas: the urban culture and lifestyles are mixing — at times quite intensely — with rural structure, culture, and lifestyles. For example peri-urbanization, or urbanization that occurs outside metropolitan areas, is a new phenomena brought about by changes in work from industrial to service-oriented and by the changing balance between the cost effectiveness of telecommuting and the importance of a physical presence in the workplace (Webster, 2004).


III. Human Grouping Factors

Cities function as the primary spatial framework that enables the flow of capital, goods, people and information, yet cities tend to stratify into neighborhoods based upon the traditional elements of ethnicity or sociology. What causes people to agglomerate by various ethnic traits? Studies have shown that individuals associate with people whose behaviors and characteristics are similar to their own — one prominent explanation is the homophily principle: it is easier or more rewarding for somebody to interact with a similar person than with a dissimilar person (McPherson, Smith-Lovin & Cook 2001). This tendency is particularly strong when the pool of potential similar associates is larger and when the size of the group is larger. For example when migrants find opportunities chain migration of family members or fellow villagers often results, causing certain places to develop into cultural agglomerations (Xiaoli and Wei, 1997). It is by no accident that fish swim in schools.

Commonality of language is the most obvious form of coordination that enhances interactions; shared codes, symbols, meanings, and communication rules facilitate both economic exchanges and social cooperation. When two people dine together their enjoyment often depends on the degree to which they matched their attires. If one shows up in jeans but the other in a suit they both feel awkward, the former because she treated the event too casually, the latter because he overdressed. Language and knowledge of cultural meanings form another domain in which coordination helps. If one person peppers her speech with slang while the other sticks to polite words then miscommunication and mutual discomfort are likely. As Henslin noted, "It is difficult, if not impossible for us to separate the self from our primary groups, for the self and our groups merge into a 'we'…their values and attitudes become fused into our identity" (Henslin, 2000).

Ozuekren and van Kempen (2003) argue that minorities may internalize external constraints and therefore chose only realizable options. Therefore minority households may only choose housing in areas that they believe are accessible — the possibility of "choice within constraints." This is another manifestation of the larger idea of being "comfortable with the area". People read the "culture" of a neighborhood and judge whether or not they will fit in by a quick internalization matching whether or not their habits and mores would be realizable in the particular environment.

Finding a comfortable neighborhood is analogous to finding an agreeable relationship: people learn early that certain situations will prove unsatisfactory to their comfort and aesthetics and so they don't show any interest in things that they don't find attractive. People also learn however to avoid the disappointment of reaching beyond their means, so they hold their desires in check even when attracted to things of great temptation and beauty since they know that they may be unable to live up to the expectations of what they desire.

Even though these factors would compel a deeper segregation by ethnic traits, as the years progress most large metropolitan areas gradually merge toward multiculturalism. Aside from forces for segregation, over time the competing forces for integration, assimilation, and adaptation into the larger culturally diverse environment tend to win out. Religious practices for immigrants for example play a large role in this integration; although these new forms of religious practice may appear to be "foreign," they represent the characteristic path of adaptation of newcomers to society. For example a significant share of ethnic American immigrants "become American" through participation in the religious and community activities of churches and temples.

Ethnic and business-opportunity related agglomerations are examples of large-scale changes that impact entire metropolitan regions when they initially experience high-growth. After new immigrants assimilate and the area evolves into a non-segregated urban environment the movement of people within a city dominates the short timescale personality of neighborhoods. Once multiculturalism takes hold and the majority of residents in an urban environment feel comfortable amongst individuals of various mixed cultures, the driving factors that determine neighborhood personality begin to change.


IV. Human Non-ethnic Grouping Factors

Consistent with modernization theory those individuals who live in large urban environments tend to mix more often with those of different ethnicities than do those in rural environments. Urban environments that are not segregated or intensively competitive tend to therefore encourage ethnic tolerance. A person who lives in an age when assimilation is encouraged or among people who are eager to intermix will find it easier to reshape their identity than someone living in an environment that promotes cultural separatism. Over time ethnic grouping factors in modern metropolises plays a diminishing role in determining culture.

Once a group of urban residents assimilate into the general culture of a metropolis they still however tend to aggregate into neighborhoods that exhibit characteristic personalities. For example some neighborhoods are hotbeds for entrepreneurship while others are the home to big-box stores. Neighborhoods span a broad spectrum from order and cleanliness to disorder and filth. Some neighborhoods are scenic and pastoral; others are row upon row of drab rectangles and asphalt. A visitor can sense that hidden behind the houses and storefronts the neighborhood harbors anger, discord, and mistrust, or conversely enthusiasm, hope, and love. The streets of some neighborhoods seem quiet with seniors cloistered behind doors; in other neighborhoods young children play and cavort along the residential streets.

Why do neighborhoods develop and then persist in expressing certain characteristics? In this thesis I will propose that female sociological factors tend to have the largest influence upon the personality of a neighborhood. We will examine the affect of culture, suffering, beauty, pretense, and liberalism, all in a good deal of depth. But beyond the immediate influence of female aesthetics into the realm of the personality of a neighborhood we must briefly consider how a personality, once established, tends to be self-reinforcing and self-propagating.

Much of this has to do with the inherent physical, social, and emotional costs associated with moving to a new neighborhood. Moving is seldom a transparently simple and stress-free routine occurrence. Aside from the perspective of the employees of a moving company (who would indeed be under the impression that moving /is/ an everyday occurrence) an individual moves once every several years.

First comes the planning: the idea mixed with the review of potential residences that involves evaluation of one's self along with one's goals and often a self-critical review of motivations. Then comes the visiting and the weighing of benefits and drawbacks: will my family be happy living here or visiting me here, will I enjoy this location on the weekends, can I afford to live here. But most importantly, do I /fit in/? Am I comfortable here? Then comes a choice, a mental jump that initiates the emotional assimilation into a new environment. Then comes the sorting, reviewing, selling, and packing of personal belongings. Finally the day for the big dislocation and then, on the other side, unpacking and deciding where everything goes — arranging both the physical and the psychic environment once again to strive for comfort.

A woman faces a deeper introspection than a man into her comfort and the safety of her family — is she familiar with the shopping venues, does the neighborhood give her adequate feelings of safety, are there appropriate medical, gynecological, and obstetric care services nearby? What is the proximity of her female friends? Partly due to this higher social cost of moving women pay considerable attention to various factors much more closely than men when deciding where to move. Hence they are more apt to play a determining role in the culture of neighborhoods.

Once a culture becomes established it tends to propagate and become self-reinforcing. People integrate into groups like an inverted refrigerator: "…groups form to create warmth for their members, but they necessarily create some outward coldness in order to be able to do so" (Ashmore et al., 2001). What happens in social groups also happens in neighborhoods.

Once a neighborhood reaches a certain critical density of culture it begins to adopt its own "fashion." The fashion of a neighborhood may relate to the color tones of its buildings, the type of landscaping, the types and location of transportation, or the behavior of its residents. It is a characteristic of fashion phenomena that the tangible shape of a fashion signal (i.e. exactly which clothes to wear or which music to listen to) is less important compared to its use as an identity signal for communication amongst those of the same social structure. "Sameness qua fashion" matters in the social context, while the individual fashion attribute has no inherent value to the actor ("fashions come and go"). Fashion signals serve at the same time for the creation of social identity (Bryson 1996, SIRC 2004) and for the manifestation of a status hierarchy (Bourdieu 1984).

Neighborhoods that are stigmatized tend to enter a downhill slide: seeing disorder appears to be imbued with social meanings that go well beyond what essentialist theories imply, generating self-reinforcing processes that may help account for the perpetuation of urban racial inequality. The stigmatization of these neighborhoods is at the root of /red-lining/ — a practice in which employers draw an imaginary red line around a stigmatized neighborhood and beyond which they discriminate against residents (Zenou and Boccard, 2000). Additionally, Davis and Huff (1972) have shown that job seekers only search efficiently in a restricted perimeter around their place of residence even if this zone only hosts poor quality jobs that pay little.

Clearly then both in the climb upward toward a specific aesthetic or the slide downward into a particular anti-aesthetic, neighborhoods move in directions often dictated more by the "fashion" and grouping influences of the social and expressive residents. Still though it may not be the /present/ state of suffering, culture, beauty, pretense, or liberalism that determines the direction of the neighborhood; rather it is collectively the sum of individual histories — the historical profile of the typical female of the neighborhood — that determines both the earmark for where the neighborhood is headed and also what types of future inhabitants a neighborhood will attract.

The nature of the environment, both natural and human-built, plays a reinforcing role in how the aesthetics are set. However a sublime vision drives the myriad small decisions that induce the aesthetics and influences the movement of residents and visitors into and out of a neighborhood. The nature of human desire along with the vision for what a place can become drives the physical decisions that transpire. Desire and aesthetics reinforce one another in a somewhat unpredictable cycle. People deceive themselves to think that one will lead to another directly — it isn't always the case that a nicely landscaped civic center will bring people who encourage civility, or that an avant-garde curved shopping parkway will encourage the creativity of the local artisans.


V. The Beauty in the Neighborhood

Quite possibly more than any other factor the inherent qualities related to the beauty of a particular female individual plays the largest role in both the path of her life and the neighborhoods that she inhabits. Although a sought after trait, beauty has its associated curses. As a woman matures in the neighborhood that she shares with her parents and then in her young adulthood with her college acquaintances, she deals with her beauty (or her lack of beauty) and the consequences thereof. The interaction of her beauty with both the men and the women in her vicinity has a profound affect upon her personality.

Once a woman internalizes these lessons from dealing with the affects of her beauty she begins to interact in a manner that reinforces the basis of her interpretations. Not only does this corroborate her impressions, but it also tends to make her more comfortable to associate with women who share a similar outlook, and hence who have collective similar experiences while growing up as a result of their beauty (or lack thereof). Rather than promoting the concept that beautiful (or plain, or ugly) women congregate together as groups /because/ of their beauty, I would stress that the personality that implicitly develops when a woman falls at a certain point along the scale of beauty tends to make her more attuned to the thoughts of other women who are similarly stricken. It becomes an association wrought by familiarity and a common understanding of the unspokens.

When a beautiful person finds herself in the company of normal looking people, say for example in a supermarket or a library, she will suffer the consequences of undue attention. When she shares the same shopping experience however with women of her own type both the men and the women in her presence are unimpressed and indifferent to her beauty. Hence she feels more comfortable. The same holds true for women at the opposite end of the spectrum... although the sensation is not one of admiration, shopping in an environment where the ragged and unfortunate are a common occurrence often alleviates the undue attention (or suppressed hostility) that an ugly person might face in the presence of normal shoppers. Hence women tend to segregate into neighborhoods where the majority of women share the same physical attributes.

Fairly detailed sociological studies explain how to successfully manage a point-of-sale business that caters to various clientele (Design Workshop, 2006, or E.G. Smith, 2004). Merchants with a regular customer base of beautiful people implicitly understand this dynamic — indeed for them to be successful merchants to this group they must consistently read the unspoken posturing of their clients. Although a completely different skill, merchants who cater to ugly people also establish a certain methodology — they use humor or courtesy or a shared sense of situational helplessness that fosters an understanding of sympathy in their clients.

This dynamic of the cultural aspects of marketing, both in the daily marketplace of goods and services and also in the appeal of media, tends to reinforce the expectations of the consumers and conglomerates those of the same class of beauty within particular physical locations.

Neighborhoods with a high concentration of beautiful women favor somewhat privately cloistered houses (often on large lots) and very quite streets, interspersed with smaller high-traffic streets lined with carefully manicured boutiques and cafes with outdoor eating areas. Generally such neighborhoods tend to be child-unfriendly with most children playing in backyards with selected friends. Cultural events tend to be private in the nature of parties and small gatherings. Such neighborhoods also incline toward valuing natural beauty and may feature streetside flowerboxes or extensive colorful landscaping in front of the residences.


VI. The Promotion of Culture

The human has a detailed and complicated mating pattern. As in most species the female meets numerous suitors, and through an evolutionary mechanism that maximizes the survivability of her offspring she winnows the potential suitors down to a specific mate. In the human species however, mate selection involves far more than an individual female evaluation of short presentations from a variety of mail suitors. What we find with the human species is an extension of this selection sieve into the realm of social engineering.

The female members of the specie select mates based upon factors such as aesthetic tastes, religious affiliations and the receptivity to spirituality, sensitivity to rustic factors, pride, accomplishments, allocation of free time, physical prowess and participation in sports, sports fan enthusiasm, architecture, food preferences, competitiveness, sensitivity to history, imaginative abilities, ambition, reliance upon aspirations, leadership, intellectualism, eroticism, level of ethnic traditionalism, smell, desire for variability and dynamism. To facilitate this selection process and provide a reasonable pool of qualifying males female society organizes around the precepts of "culture." This creates environments across a variety of scales to attract eligible male mates to appropriate neighborhoods.

At an early age most women develop a sense of how they are perceived and after this follow the next logical step to determine what type of man would most appreciate /them/. This flows as a natural extension of a woman's desire to provide a long-term stable household for raising children; it is less a conscious choice than a long ingrained natural instinct developed and honed through evolutionary forces. Clearly to make a stable household one should find a mate that would be pleased with oneself over a long period of time.

So what are the characteristics of "me" and what are the characteristics of somebody who would appreciate my traits? After arriving at that conclusion, how does a person set oneself up to attract a man who appreciates these specific characteristics? The answer is to create a "culture" — a succession of community derived subliminal attributes that draw out and further define the tastes of the males who pass through. The "culture" is the manifestation of the marketing effort required to communicate these characteristics.

This happens both explicitly and implicitly: implicitly through the conversations (both verbal and nonverbal) of the female members of a neighborhood and explicitly by actions of design that female individuals take within their environment to express their own personalities. Deliberate social organizations such as church groups, social clubs, political activities, and advertising in the neighborhood further reinforce the culture. The general trend is to encourage an increase in neighborhood inhabitants for those that generally agree with the prevailing culture and to discourage participation by those outside of the favored views.

Neighborhoods that are keen to promote their culture will have wide streets with a large number of public places for meeting, restaurants, specialty stores, and coffeeshops. They may have prominent parks and frequent public events such as fairs or parades that are exceedingly well organized. Many of the stores have flyers posted in windows or on bulletin boards. It's common to see banners hung from streetlamps advertising the prevailing culture. To encourage mixing, these neighborhoods tend to have smaller residents on less protected lots. On the quieter streets children are frequently found playing with neighbors and riding bicycles or skateboards.


VII. Loss and Suffering

Suffering is an interesting aspect of human existence: it broadly separates people into groups based upon the type of suffering experienced, the visceral attitude toward handling aspects of suffering, and in some cases by the outright intent to actively seek or to actively avoid suffering. Before we discuss in detail how this grouping occurs, it would be helpful to reflect upon the physiological and psychological underpinnings of suffering, how they come about, and how human beings experience them.

In general, humans experience suffering at the loss of functionality. This can be physical functionality (for example the loss of limb usage when a person breaks their arm), loss of social standing (such as when a person is demoted in a job), loss of mating opportunity (such as when a relationship terminates), or loss of familial relationships (such as the death of a family member). Most frequently loss of functionality is also accompanied by pain; this pain can be physical pain, emotional pain, or even psychological trauma.

However we draw a distinction between pain and how people suffer: although pain is nearly always present in suffering it is also possible to experience pain with only a minimal amount of suffering. One of the traits that human exhibit from an early stage of childhood development, for example, is to internalize the process of quick recovery from minor pains so as to alleviate suffering. To various extents this learned trait carries forward into adulthood and indeed is one of the metrics that determine one aspect of how people group into a subculture: it is how they relate their level of pain to their level of suffering.

Of course most human suffering is intrinsic to the process of life: people die, accidents happen, social situations change, and illness befalls us. Often this happens without request and so many times humans find themselves at the receiving end of pain and loss both by surprise and by insult. This shock and dismay presents its own psychological challenges and suffering: how do humans cope with the disruption caused by the loss of functionality but also with the indignity of being "chosen" to suffer?

The cultural fallout from this process — healing loss and pain through the expression of suffering — tends to quietly and unconsciously aggregate people into groups by a common understanding of the appropriate fashion to grieve or to recover from loss. People tend to either have a strong natural repulsion or a confused misunderstanding that both result in a social distancing of people who suffer their angst and miseries in a fashion that is outside of their own experience. People tend to feel most comfortable around other humans who behave in their mannerisms towards others who suffer and recover from their own pain and loss in the same fashion as they do.

Here again the female members of the specie share a certain heightened role with respect to suffering. Some of this has to do with their greater sensitivity to emotions and feelings, but a larger part of it has to do with an unfortunate imbalance between the sexes: women frequently suffer at the hands of men (Edwards, 1989). This can be directly due to physical violence (wars, battery, and sexual aggression) but this is also attributable to a difference in mating patterns: certain men tend to exhibit considerably less fidelity toward their mates (Pittman, 1993) and this leads to the female members of society having frequent encounters with men who cheat on them and lie about it. How a woman approaches and handles the suffering caused by the loss of trust in a relationship plays a large determinant in the friendships that she establishes with other women. If she cuts with a saw she ends up with the carpenters; if she shoots with a gun she ends up with the hunters. This in turn also determines the types of men that a woman and her friends will date, which tends to cluster the types of men congruent to the types of women who will date them.

A female of the species discloses how she handles suffering in mannerisms such as mode of dress, bodily decoration, behavior patterns, and personality characteristics. These cues can solidify into a type of behavioral aesthetic: astute vendors in a neighborhood can pick up on these cues and offer products or services directly marketed to the expression and recovery from pain and loss along lines in concordance with the prevailing mode of suffering. Nails for the carpenters and ammunition for the hunters.

Neighborhoods where residents experienced in much pain and loss express their grief outwardly tend to have somewhat deserted avenues with many small, slightly rundown churches and temples. Alternatively, neighborhoods where residents suffer their pains quiet and inwardly develop small artistic stores, headshops, and tattoo parlors and the like. Neighborhoods where the people have been fortunate enough to escape much suffering tend to be of lighter and shallower "character" with considerably less expression of art and religion.

In some cases suffering can be seen as a "badge of honor" or an accomplishment in and of itself; in some subcultures exhibiting remnants of one's suffering is an especially desirable attribute. Neighborhoods with a high concentration of beautiful younger women who have done much suffering in a manner that now accepts the pain and loss in their lives as a matter of standard principle can indeed become Goth Babe Neighborhoods.


VIII. Pretense

A very spiritual and suffering and interesting Afro-American woman enters the Northridge Starbucks... one of the regulars points her out to the flighty blonde used-to-be-beautiful lady who wears sexy boots and the blonde feigns interest and small talk, just because she is supposed to and because she has been brought up with proper social skills and manners. She carries out the actions and activities that she has been taught that she should. She exhibits social behavior that is similar to how many people at work behave — according to what kind of impressions they are supposed to leave. These are the pretenders. Pretenders differ from the unaffected in that they /sanction/ that pretending is acceptable standard behavior whereas the "unaffected" typically abjure it from early in childhood.

The degree of pretense — that level to which people accept pretending as a reality to achieve — can have fairly serious consequences and effects upon the culture of a neighborhood. A subway ride across the sweep of any large metropolis will certainly reveal areas of graffiti-strewn neighborhoods. A drive through any large metropolitan area will show pockets of neighborhoods with a high proportion of souped-up automobiles. What are the men who deface walls or the men who spiff their cars pretending to be? Well, tough or part of a crowd or stylish. And of course women exhibit the same characteristics: they pretend to be fashion models or pretend to be wealthy elites or pretend to be socialites or pretend to be patrons of the arts.

After a while the conglomeration of people with the same pretenses attracts a group of vendors and cultural innovators that reinforce the particular aesthetic of the pretenses. So we end up with neighborhoods full of automobile body shops, or neighborhoods with streets lined with boutiques, or neighborhoods catering to theatergoers, or neighborhoods heavily laden with religious institutions. This works well for both the vendors and the pretenders as the commonality and collocation of the cultural innovators tends to reinforce the pretenses and make them appear to be more "real" and self-important, whereas the clustering of consumers of similar pretense supports the vendors.

Neighborhoods with a high degree of pretense tend to be more densely populated with busy main streets. Advertising will be omnipresent, and many vendors sell entertainment related items such as movies and video games. The smaller residential streets in these neighborhoods however tend to be relatively vacant with most young children occupied by indoor activities. The architecture in such neighborhoods inclines to be more varied with a jumble of styles that reflects the imaginations of the residents.


IX. Wealth, Liberality, and Conservatism

Some neighborhoods tend to exhibit greater evidence of monetary sufficiency than others — some neighborhoods are wealthy and some are broke. But if we flip around the commonly held belief that the wealth of residents determines the nature of the wealth of neighborhoods, we find an interesting premise: that people move into neighborhoods where the circumstances of their wealth and the choices that they have made to be wealthy or poor concord with the mores and ethics of their neighborhood.

People typically face choices in their lives making trade-offs of money for ethics (or the reverse). For example, how easy is it for a religious person to pray that they will never have monetary problems? And if they agree to this prayer what does this imply as to their actions: it implies that when they are in a difficult financial situation they may choose to work for an employer that pays well, but who engages in activities that unintentionally (or intentionally) causes harm. If a person is comfortable however with living extremely frugally and without much in the way of entertainment they may choose to work for a company that takes care to avoid activities that might harm people.

Most people have ups and downs in their lives (both financially and ethically) and their reaction to hard times tends to set the tone for how they behave in the future. It may be that those people who end up being conservatives are actually exhibiting a greater level of fear at being penniless: previously they may have had experiences being broke that they found exceedingly distasteful. They therefore make the conscious choice of allowing themselves the luxury of ethical blinders to avoiding falling into another state of poverty.

How comfortable a person feels about a certain level of wealth or poverty may also derive from very deep familial and cultural expectations related to upbringing — this may provoke an individual to find a location that maintains their status "within group" especially toward their existing friends and family. When people grow up they may internalize certain cultivation toward a particular level of "refinement" — the concept of being "well bred" in its full manifestation. Self-acceptance of refinement relates to a significant degree to a female ego. On the opposite side, those who manage to appreciate the ragged edge may shun others who they feel might be more callous in their attitudes, and thus are more comfortable with neighbors who share an unrefined and relaxed approach.

Neighborhoods exhibiting strong conservatism tend to show features of high-security: residential areas are frequently gated and may have patrolling guards; the commercial areas of these neighborhoods are awash in security cameras. Conservative neighborhoods also tend to have more indirect and curvy traffic flow so as to discourage outside visitors. On the other extreme, liberal neighborhoods will have straight streets and will be more welcoming to visitors.


X. Case Studies and Conclusion

Burbank, California is the television entertainment capital of the world and vies with Hollywood for being at the center of motion picture entertainment. It ranks fairly high on the scale of beautiful women, exhibiting many (but not all) of the characteristics of such a neighborhood: houses are mostly cloistered on quiet streets, although the lots are small. Many boutiques and cafes with outdoor eating areas line the high-traffic main streets, although they aren't necessarily meticulously manicured. Burbank residents do have an eye toward promoting their culture: their wide streets with public meeting places, restaurants, specialty stores, coffeeshops, and prominent parks encourage social gatherings. Burbank residents are low on the scale of suffering with a small sprinkling of churches and a light density of angst-driven artistic venues. Somewhat oddly for a city heavily involved in the business of entertainment, Burbank residents rank fairly low on pretense: outside of the studios themselves most residential areas are plain, typical of 1950s and 1960s tract developments. As might be expected Burbank exhibits a liberal outlook with straight streets that are welcoming to visitors.

To the North, Tujunga California is a small neighborhood separated from Burbank by the Verdugo mountain range. It ranks rather low on the scale of beauty, with only a couple of small boutiques and many outdoor activities for children. It exhibits a moderate amount of culture, with regular public activities, both religious and patriotic. Residents of Tujunga manifest a somewhat moderate to high level of inward suffering with a fair number of angst-filled stores and a somewhat higher concentration of well-groomed religious institutions. Tujunga residents exhibit quite low pretense with mostly plain housing and children actively engaged in outdoor social activities. Tujunga is a bit less liberal than Burbank with most streets straight; nestled into the hills many curvy streets exhibit a more conservative leaning.

Valencia, California is a city where the residents exhibit a moderate amount of beauty; most children play with friends in their backyards, the city has a fair number of trendy shopping areas, but this is also mixed with many big-box stores. The residents partially promote their culture through wide thoroughfares with many restaurants and specialty stores. The locals display just the slightest suffering with no angst-filled artistic stores and just a tiny smattering of religious institutions. Valencia leans more toward realism and away from any pretense, shying away from advertising. People here show slight conservatism: commercial areas are usually monitored and streets are slightly curvy, yet traffic patterns are generally open and appropriate visitors are somewhat welcome.

Santa Monica, California exhibits quite a high degree of beauty amongst its urbanites: residential streets are quiet and many houses exhibit serious efforts toward beautification and landscaping. Commercial streets are busy with boutiques and cafes. Santa Monica promotes its culture through its use of parks, public events, and streetlamp banners. The residents of the city do exhibit a moderately high amount of suffering — some districts tend more toward inward expression of suffering with a concentration of angst-filled artistic venues; other districts tend more towards outward expression by supporting a concentration of religious institutions. The city has a fairly substantial amount of pretense: shops display a considerable amount of window advertising and residents express their imagination both through quite original architectural styles and a variety of clothing and fashion statements. Although some of the northern beachfront areas differ most of Santa Monica is very liberal with straight streets that are freely welcoming to visitors, especially tourists.

In review then, in this essay we have seen that after new immigrants assimilate into an area and multiculturalism takes hold cities tend to stratify based upon sociology and anthropology. Since the social and psychological cost of moving is especially high for women they tend to determine the nature of a neighborhood. Ongoing factors that increase the comfort and utility of individuals then tend to promulgate the existing culture leading to greater segregation.

We explored how female aesthetic factors affect the culture and personality of a neighborhood. We have seen how women tend to segregate into neighborhoods with shared attitudes toward suffering so that they may sympathize with people who heal from their pain and losses in a similar manner. We also reviewed how both men and women tend to segregate along a metric of imagination to the extent that they accept pretending as an acceptable form of behavior. We looked at a possible explanation for why people might feel more comfortable or more uncomfortable in a wealthy neighborhood based upon a further consideration of whether or not they tend to be of liberal or conservative leanings. We considered the overwhelming impact of personal female beauty and how it plays an overriding role in the development of vendor behavior as well as the general mien of a neighborhood. Lastly we reviewed how the culture of a neighborhood serves to reinforce the other defining characteristics.

Each of these factors overlaps and yet may be quite independent of other factors. For example, not all neighborhoods exhibiting high suffering also show a high degree of culture (although some of them do). Similarly not all neighborhoods with a high concentration of beauty choose to promote their degree of culture. One could graph a neighborhood's attributes across the five variables and although some neighborhoods would be similar, each would be distinctive in their emphasis and mixture across each attribute. This essay therefore exposes the foundation for what generates the personality of modern multicultural cities, and why indeed we find Goth Babe Neighborhoods.