Southern seduction: Canadian and American snowbirds in Florida since 1945

Title: Southern seduction: Canadian and American snowbirds in Florida since 1945
Authors: Desrosiers-Lauzon, Godefroy
Date: 2008
Abstract: Since the late 19th century, Florida's promoters and civic leaders have constructed the state as a tourist destination. The result was a Florida Dream that visitors and migrants could interpret according to their own expectations: as an hedonist escape from the routine of work and family; as a warm refuge from northern winters; as a rapidly expanding pool of economic opportunity. Florida's immense popularity as a tourist destination and migrant haven was then built on that Dream, as well as on abundant and escapist promotion, on transportation technology, on the development of its real estate industry and of its tourist accommodations, on rising disposable incomes since the 1940s. Florida's population grew rapidly, in great part because of its tourism. This thesis explains and analyzes the phenomenon of seasonal, long-term winter travel to Florida, travelers that South Floridians have called snowbirds. It demonstrates what pushed and pulled snowbirds to Florida, analyzes their journey south, their settlement patterns and housing choices, their tendency to congregate together, the forms of their sociability. It mostly defines snowbirds as migrants who, down South, build communities of kindred spirits. In the fragmented built landscape of 20th-century Florida, the congregation of snowbirds produced unique forms of socialization and, we argue, of community. These unique settlements have uniquely influenced Floridians' debates about their own community-building issues, while playing a part in Northerners' views about Florida, the South, the North, the United States and Canada. Snowbirds, from their standpoint on Florida and North America, were agents in the definition of peculiar yet deeply modern, North American forms of sociability and community, as well as agents in the ongoing collective conversation creating a (late) modern folklore of leisure, geography, mobility, topophilia and identity.
CollectionTh├Ęses, 1910 - 2010 // Theses, 1910 - 2010
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