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Shanty Towns

SHANTY TOWNS

SHANTY TOWNS as an American social phenomenon first appeared during the lag in reemployment after World War I, rising on dump heaps or wastelands within or at the edges of large industrial cities. Such communities also existed during the Great Depression, when they received the indulgence if not the approval of officials. The shanties were constructed and occupied by single men who had fitted into an economy of abundance as transient workers. Forced to stay in one place, they built crude homes of any free material available, such as boxes, waste lumber, and tin cans. Some occupied abandoned boilers, boxcars, and caves. They continued to take odd jobs when they could be found, living on the scant wages with the extra aid of social agencies.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Fearis, Donald F. The California Farm Worker, 1930–1942. Ph.D thesis. University of California-Davis, 1971.

Charles J.Finger/a. r.

See alsoBonus Army ; Depression of 1920 ; Poverty .

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shanty towns

shanty towns Improvised housing settlements, usually but not exclusively associated with Third World cities. Common characteristics include illegal occupancy of land (squatting); concentration on land of low economic value (such as river-banks or rabbish-tips); self-built housing; overcrowding; a lack of public utilities and social services; and low-income households. Over time, individuals and neighbourhoods may improve their circumstances, introducing considerable variation within and between shanty towns.

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