Domestic fortress

Fear and the new home front

By Rowland Atkinson and Sarah Blandy

Domestic fortress


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Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-7849-9530-0
  • Pages: 232
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: November 2016
  • BIC Category: Geography, Urban communities, Sociology, Crime & criminology, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / City Planning & Urban Development, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Urban, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology, Society & social sciences / Sociology, Society & social sciences / Crime & criminology, Urban Communities


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.


'By focusing on homeownership and tenure, Atkinson and Blandy insightfully connect the privatization of well-being, fear of crime and financial insecurity with contemporary changes in the meaning of home. They capture the important relationship between the private home, political life and the economy through their concept of "tessellated neoliberalism" that examines how aspects of home ownership-- markets, interest rates, mortgages and home values-are implicated in the transformation of home as a haven to home as asset and source of insecurity. A must-read for both social scientists and legal scholars interested in housing and governance.'
Setha Low, The Graduate Center, CUNY, author of Behind the Gates: Life, Security and the Pursuit of Happiness in Fortress America

'These days, homes are forting up and being bunkered against an uncertain and threatening exterior world. In this remarkable global survey of such domestic fortressing, Rowland Atkinson and Sarah Blandy reveal its details WITH unprecedented clarity. Incisive, powerful, accessible and vitally necessary, 'Domestic Fortress' is an urgent and important book that should be read by anyone keen to get to grips with the ways homes are morphing into fortresses across the world'
Stephen Graham, Newcastle university, author of Cities under Siege

'Subject to the forces of neoliberalism, the home is becoming the Domestic Fortress the authors tirelessly investigate. Rowland Atkinson and Sarah Blandy cover the topic exhaustively in a fascinating interdisciplinary study, which is a must read for anyone interested in the links between emotional security, private security, surveillance and the architecture of an increasingly militarised environment.'
Anna Minton, author of Ground Control


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


Rowland Atkinson is Chair in Inclusive Societies at the University of Sheffield

Sarah Blandy is Professor of Law at the University of Sheffield

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