Today's home has become a kind of fortress that says as much about our need for privacy as it does about ensuring our security. Fortress homes, gated communities and elaborate defensive systems have become everyday features of urban life today, highlighting the depth of fear as well as desire for prestige and social display. Domestic Fortress offers a fresh analysis of our homes, our demands for security and anxieties about invasion, loss and finding seclusion in a worrying and divided world. As industries and politicians raise our fears further, Domestic Fortress considers why gating and fortress designs, beloved of celebrities and the super-rich, have become the ordinary feature of societies affected by rising social inequalities, the exclusion of strangers and constant anticipation of disaster and loss in our daily lives. Using a rich range of sources from cutting-edge research to media accounts, Domestic Fortress considers the fantasies and realities of dangers to the contemporary home and its inhabitants and details the extreme measures now used in the pursuit of total safety.
In the twenty-first century, a growing culture of fear is driving homeowners to retreat into fortified dwellings, concealed bunker pads and gated developments. Atkinson and Blandy explore the anxieties driving this retreat, ultimately linking them to the corporate and political manufacturing of fear, the triumph of neoliberal models of home ownership and related modes of social individualisation and risk that permeate society today. Drawing on perspectives and research from criminology, socio-legal studies, urban studies and sociology, they uncover a challenging vision of the private home as a site of wavering anxiety and security, exclusion and warmth, where dreams of retreat and autonomy mesh closely with the defining principles of neoliberal governance.
Rowland Atkinson is Chair in Inclusive Societies at the University of Sheffield Sarah Blandy is Professor of Law at the University of Sheffield
1. Domestic economy
2. A shell for the body and mind
3. Invasions of privacy
4. Fear, crime and the home
5. Technologies of the defended home
6. Withdraw, defend or destroy
7. The fortress archipelago
8. Complexes of the domestic fortress
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