Project 5

By Charity A. Hicks

        “The consequences of the new separateness and restriction for public life are serious: contrary to what Jencks thinks (1993), by making clear the extension of social inequalities and the lack of commonalities, defensible architecture and planning may only promote conflict instead of preventing it (Caldeira, 1999, p.104).” Basically what Teresa P. R. Caldeira is saying in her article from Theorizing the City: the New Urban Anthropology Reader is by blocking off segments of neighborhoods where housing developments are built is only providing more division, and therefore conflict among communities. In attempting to minimize the influx of poverty and crime in middle to upper class neighborhoods, builders are giving limited access to a select few (those whom reside within), while minimizing an exodus of those who do not qualify to enter certain regions of their own city. Caldeira (1999) explains that the above phenomena will only increase diversity and division, and also increase the likelihood for dissension.
        As one can clearly see, HOA dictates who can live in select communities and who may not; what is even more distressing is that HOA’s also govern the limited acceptable activities that occur within their community. Hence, division is heightened between: those who have and those who have not, cultural diversities and the public display of such within one’s own yard, and poor minorities versus wealthier majorities. Cultural diversities are displayed in many ways within a residents own property boundaries. For example, some individuals of Hispanic decent may do any one or more of the following:  cars parked in driveway and in the street, and they may often have many visitors who park up and down the street along the curb while congregating outside often making plenty of noise.
        In the article by Blakely and Snyder (1997), an interesting point came to the forefront. They argued that although minimizing crime in HOA communities is one primary function of the organization, most crime within a neighborhood is committed by fellow residents. Separating those who have from those who have not may also encourage crime to facilitate within protected and walled communities. This is due to the resentment created within the minds of those individuals who are excluded from participating in regions of their own community due to pre-established social, racial, and economic standards. Therefore HOA’s are obviously creating more harm than not.

Caldeira, Teresa, P.R. (1999). Theorizing the City; the New Anthropology
        Reader. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.

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