"We Come To The Garden" . . . Again: Garden City, Kansas, 1990-2000


Michael Broadway

Journal Title/Source

Urban Anthropology and Studies of Cultural Systems and World Economic Development

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Issue (if applicable)


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Document Type

Journal Article


Earth, Environmental and Geographical Sciences


During the 1980s, Garden City, Kansas, grew by onethird, and its minority population, composed primarily of new immigrants from Latin America and Southeast Asia, doubled, thanks to the opening of two massive beefpacking plants at the beginning of the decade. From 1987 to 1990, five anthropologists and a social geographer investigated relations between new immigrants and established residents in Garden City. They published their initial findings in a special issue of the journal URBAN ANTHROPOLOGY in 1990. In July 2000, an anthropologist and a geographer from that team conducted a rapid appraisal of changes in the community during the 1990s. Earlier studies have suggested that problems associated with rapid growth diminish over time as newcomers develop community ties. We tested this hypothesis and found that while growth slowed during thel990s, many of the problems that plagued Garden City during the previous decade persisted: school overcrowding, housing shortages, and unequal access to health and social services.