"Il y a des lois sur la plage !"

Abstract : How is it possible to combine the imposed hedonism of beach settings and the necessity to maintain urban order ? This is the question that authorities in charge of supervising Los Angeles beaches have had to address throughout the 20th century. At the intersection of the history of policing and the history of seaside leisure, this article analyzes the way in which authorities, users and owners have negotiated the seaside order from the beginning of the 20th century - when the littoral was considered a sort of free-for-all space remote from the authorities' gaze - until the 1970s, when the beaches, under the pressure of urban expansion, became part and parcel of the city. On the basis of different archives (press, municipal archives, etc.) the article shows that despite a regime of "seaside tolerance'' throughout the century, the increasing urbanization of the beaches has meant a restricted access for the lower middle classes, and for sexual, ethnic and racial minorities.
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Submitted on : Monday, December 4, 2017 - 4:07:23 PM
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Elsa Devienne. "Il y a des lois sur la plage !". Actes de la Recherche en Sciences Sociales, Editions du Seuil, 2017, pp.10--25. ⟨10.3917/arss.218.0010⟩. ⟨hal-01640711⟩

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