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An economy of false securities? An analysis of murders inside gated residential developments in the US Rowland Atkinson and Oliver Smith, Centre for Urban.

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Presentation on theme: "An economy of false securities? An analysis of murders inside gated residential developments in the US Rowland Atkinson and Oliver Smith, Centre for Urban."— Presentation transcript:

1 An economy of false securities? An analysis of murders inside gated residential developments in the US Rowland Atkinson and Oliver Smith, Centre for Urban Research (CURB), Department of Sociology, University of York

2 Overview 1.The role of housing in mediating broader inequalities in respect of access to security 2.An examination of insecurity in secure residential development 3.How is violence in such areas depicted?

3 Defining a gated community Two key features: – Physical boundaries like gates and walls (sometimes with guards or surveillance systems) – A contractual, or socio-legal, neighbourhood constitution which imposes payment of fees to management organisation which services the community

4 Extent USA 5.9% of households – walled communities 3.4% controlled access Sanchez and Lang, 2005 UK 1,000 GCs Atkinson et al, 2002 Australia 2% h’holds in guarded communities Atkinson and Tranter, 2011

5 New zones of control Symbolic landscapes of security and escape from negative externalities of the urban Fortification of neighbourhoods and domestic spaces Secessionary spaces of social control and law enforcement Security as a ‘club good’

6 How safe are gated communities? High income gated communities, statistically insignificant differences in crime levels compared with HI non-gated Low income gated communities ALSO exhibit the same similarities (Wilson-Doenges) GCs may hinder emergency service access Learning codes, internal disorder The Martin case – gated and prejudicial mentalities

7 Inequality, the club realm and extreme risk Love and hate of community/proximity: – ‘the excessive opening up (disclosure of a secret, allegiance, obedience…) of one person to another easily reverts to an excremental repulsive intrusion… it is highly hazardous to enter this domain of the utmost intimacy, as one gets more than one asked for’ (Zizek) Baumgartner – moral minimalism

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9 Methodology Lexis-Nexis search 50 cases Date range: Analysis of cases Qualitative analysis of newswires Related reportage identified through Google searches [ongoing]

10 Findings Extent by type: – Community (5) – Breach (21) – Intimate (31) Data limitations

11 Community homicide Denice Fox – 57 years old, retired school teacher – Lived in Glen cove, Long Island in $899,000 house – Murdered by Evan Marshall, 32, Aug 17 th 2006 Lived on same road with his mother, didn’t know victim Psychosexual murder Was searching house for money for drugs, when interrupted by victim

12 Community homicide Sonia Dawes, 11 – Murdered by Uncle, William Dawes – Had been living with his sister, girls mother, for a few weeks in gated community in Laguna Niguel, OC – Neighbor Anne Whitney told ABC7 she was "terrified." "I mean you feel so safe," Whitney said. "It's a gated community. You think that, you know, you trust your neighbors. You never know."

13 Community Stanley Nyberg, 61, Shot Dina Camp – Sky Country Club GC, Washington – Long running boundary dispute escalated into shooting – Nyberg claimed he was afraid Camp would hit him with a rock

14 Intimate homicides Bob Ward, 61, Real estate magnate – Isleworth country club Neighbours include Tiger Woods, Shaquille O’Neill, house once belonged to Arnold Palmer – Shot and killed wife, Sept 2009 – Financial troubles Mortgage arrears (24x $16,841) Filed for bankruptcy

15 James Kurtenbach, 48, Arson/Murder/fraud, Oct 2008 – “Arson gone bad” – homicide Lt D. Burgos – Owed $56,000 in back taxes – Employee Joseph Neshelwat died in explosion

16 Breach Keith Adams, 28, Construction worker – Working inside GC – Shot site Forman dead and injured coworker over dispute, July 2001

17 Breach II Caroline Cody, 22, killed by Donald Fair, Gainesville FL. – Fair lived in apartments adjoining Cody’s gated residence – Entered through broken fence – Killed Cody and stole car – Family filed wrongful death suit against apartment owners for failing to provide adequate security

18 Reflections Greatest risks are from within the community or from partners Has gating facilitated forms of private violence - abusive and violent action New debates raised about role of housing and planning in questions about risk and violence Role of property developers in distracting consumers from risks

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