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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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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 29 June 2022

A shell for the body and mind

A shell for the body and mind

(p.45) 3 A shell for the body and mind
Domestic Fortress

Rowland Atkinson

Sarah Blandy

Manchester University Press

This chapter considers the meaning and importance of more psychological aspects of the private home. Homeownership has been argued to provide us with a deep sense of security of being in troubled times, when trust in community has been lost. Psychoanalytic and sociological theories of consumption practices are used here to examine the role of psychic development as it occurs within the home. Two functions of the home in particular are examined here, illustrated through fairy stories, fiction and films. First, the home's role as a bridge or mediator to the public world outside the home, meaning that a child's preparation for the outside world is largely dependent on parental perceptions of risk and insecurity. Second, the private (fearful) world inside what Freud termed the unheimlich home, hiding dreadful secrets. The current emphasis on control of outsiders' access to the home, and the developing culture of respecting others' homes as entirely private places, may make the home a domestic prison for its less powerful residents: women and children. Feminist analyses of the development of gender roles in the home and data on domestic violence show the dark underbelly of the sanctified private home. Although some homes are havens, others can be the site of domestic slavery and even more disturbing examples of power and abuse, such as Fred West, and the imprisonment of Fritzl's daughter in Austria and Jaycee Dugard in the US.

Keywords:   Psychoanalysis, Fear of crime, Slavery, Child development, Housing tenure, Homeownership

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