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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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Technologies of the defended home

Technologies of the defended home

(p.107) 6 Technologies of the defended home
Domestic Fortress

Rowland Atkinson

Sarah Blandy

Manchester University Press

Defence has always been a primary element in home design; this chapter traces the ebbs and flows of fortification over time, tracing back the contemporary alternative features of withdrawal and aggressive defence to their origins. These responses, mirroring the well-known 'flight or fight' reactions, are illustrated through reference to celebrity homes and incidents of crimes against them. Here we address the technologies and architectural features which are designed to counter the risks that assail the home as haven and the fears passed on from parents which inform our internalised expectations as adults. Diverse forms of home protection and insurance have become the central and non-negotiable demands of increasingly affluent western societies, and meeting these demands has boosted the profits of security companies. We argue that the recent increase in defensive technologies has turned homes into the architectural representation of our fears, from which we can never be truly free. We now fear to stop fearing, with the contemporary homeowner forever in a state of heightened anxiety.

Keywords:   Burglary, Celebrity culture, Homeownership, Fear of crime, Panic rooms, Neoliberalism

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