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The Working Man’s RewardChicago's Early Suburbs and the Roots of American Sprawl$
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Elaine Lewinnek

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199769223

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199769223.001.0001

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“Better than a Bank for a Poor Man”

“Better than a Bank for a Poor Man”

Workers’ Strategies for Home Financing

(p.87) Chapter 4 “Better than a Bank for a Poor Man”
The Working Man’s Reward

Elaine Lewinnek

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyzes the records of Chicago’s immigrant-led building and loan associations as well as social workers’ critiques of the stringent economies that immigrants practiced in order to achieve a precarious domesticity. Buying a home, especially for Chicago’s mostly immigrant working class, meant buying an elusive respectability as well as a potentially productive space and the hope of an investment that they could control.

Keywords:   building and loan associations, history of social work, home financing

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