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Domestic FortressFear and the New Home Front$
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Rowland Atkinson and Sarah Blandy

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781784995300

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781784995300.001.0001

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The myths and meanings of home security

The myths and meanings of home security

(p.26) 2 The myths and meanings of home security
Domestic Fortress

Rowland Atkinson

Sarah Blandy

Manchester University Press

This chapter paints in some of the background to the process by which the contemporary fortress home has become normalised. Social changes in the second half of the twentieth century have accompanied a shift from more communal ways of life and collective responses to risk and insecurity, to much more individual perspectives. Neoliberal governments have complemented this trajectory with policies designed to encourage ownership, a project advantaged by engendering a fear of crime. However, at the same time as owners have come to see their homes as commodified financial assets, the state has increasingly withdrawn its guarantee to protect households from crime and disorder. This has meant that the home has taken on the role of assuring the survival of the familial unit against an ongoing assault on public systems of assistance. The need to defend this asset / haven is further exaggerated by media accounts of the elaborate security measures employed to protect the homes of celebrities and the wealthy, which feed perceptions of home as both a site of vulnerability, and of prestige and status.

Keywords:   Housing studies, Homeownership, Neoliberalism, Culture of fear, Housing tenure

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