Behind the Gates: Life, Security, and the Pursuit of by Setha Low

By Setha Low

Within the final two decades, hundreds of thousands upon hundreds of thousands of the higher and heart sessions have retreated into gated groups. In 2002, it really is predicted that one in 8 american citizens will reside in those specific neighbourhoods. What has sparked this alarming development? in the back of the Gates is Setha Low's revealing account of what existence is like inside of those suburban fortresses. After years studying and interviewing households in ny, ny and San Antonio, Texas, Low presents an inside of view of gated groups to assist clarify why humans flee to those enclaves. mom and dad with young ones, younger married undefined, "empty-nesters" and retirees show their desire for defense, their mystery fears of a extra ethnically various the United States, and their wish to recapture the close-knit, picket-fenced groups in their youth. mockingly, she exhibits, gated neighbourhoods are in truth no more secure than different suburbs, and plenty of who stream there are disheartened by means of the insularity and restrictive principles of the neighborhood.

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Additional resources for Behind the Gates: Life, Security, and the Pursuit of Happiness in Fortress America

Sample text

How nice to meet you. My daughter’s completing her degree in sociology at Hunter College, and I know what problems she’s had. ” She leads me into a light-filled rotunda with what looks like a miniature village in a Plexiglas case. “Here’s a model of the original design. It’s been modified since it was purchased by the current owner, but the roadways, lot lines, and community spaces are the same. We’re the Rolls-Royce of gated communities, so you’ve come to the right place. ” She says that when the development is complete there will be 141 houses, but that only about half of the houses have been purchased to date.

I give her a knowing look. She laughs, finds the right key, and opens the door. An insistent beeping accompanies us inside. In one motion she punches in the alarm code and turns on the light. The beeping stops, and I turn around to admire the entry hall. “We try to make each model distinctive. ” There is a small living room and formal dining room on one side of the entry hall, and on the other side, a large family room off a country kitchen. Each room is painted a pale earth tone, trimmed with stenciling in the dining and living rooms.

She says that when the development is complete there will be 141 houses, but that only about half of the houses have been purchased to date. “Let me show you some of our decorated rooms that give our buyers ideas about style and design,” she says, as I follow her into the adjoining room. The large parlor is decorated like a Versailles palace, complete with copies of French tapestries and landscape paintings. ” I ask. “Our clients want the best,” she replies. “The land was formerly owned by a wealthy family.

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