LunchUP: Luis Flores, "Predistributive Conflict: New Economy Lessons from the Invention of Residential Districts in Los Angeles, 1879-1915"
PhD Candidate – UM Department of Sociology
At the start of the 20th century the institutional separation between domestic and market life hardened with the invention of land-use zoning. This organization of separate spheres is now at the center of conflict over the dislocations brought on by the “new economy”—challenging the moral validity of local property regulations and the separation of market and non-market places and activity. To understand the dynamics of this particular and reoccurring class of what I term predistributive conflict, I propose an interpretation of the overlooked invention of the first “residence districts” in Los Angeles. Rather than pre-given, the legal categories of residence and market emerged from political and moral conflict among property owners, seeking to benefit from opportunities and defend against the risks of industrial urbanization. The bounds of predistributive conflict over the economic benefits of landed property, I argue, is shaped by a deep contradiction in the law property, which confers privileges to a bundle of rights that are formally equal but practically contradictory, requiring political and moral choices about which property rights are to be privileged.
These sessions are a response to requests from faculty and students to learn more about what’s going on in the field in an informal environment. We hope this can inspire emergent thoughts and connections that will inform our scholarship.
Lunch is included, please bring a drink.