Behind the Gates

June 20, 2011 § 1 Comment

In Setha Low’s book “Behind the Gates,” the author describes the gated community as not only a secure, safe environment but also as something that provides a sense of psychological security or peace that connects one’s unconscious to childhood.  Low defines the difference between safety and security and discusses how the sense of security enables a community within a gate to live more easily as a whole with an implied trust between the individuals within the community. Furthermore, the topic of identity was brought up in our class discussion that I found particularly interesting.

In class, the topic that “identity means nothing if we cannot compare it to something” was discussed. This made me think about the notion of how we are products of our environment.  While culture is not described as a tangible item and rather as a set of practices, systems, and beliefs, it defines who we are as a person.  With gated communities, although it is not an “extreme” change so to speak, there are still a set of rules and regulations that one must follow in order to be accepted into the community.  This therefore becomes part of that person.  While there are so many movements to express individuality, are not we just products of the culture around us? Is that idea not conforming itself? I really enjoyed this article because it made me think of about individuality as a whole and if it really is unique to everyone.  This similarly could bring up the notion of nature versus nurture and the question of whether one’s “individuality” is just a product of everything around them or actually genetic.


§ One Response to Behind the Gates

  • ethnolust says:

    You’re asking interesting questions. We aren’t talking about a situation where identity is determined by environment. I think we need to leave room for agency. On the other hand, the possibilities for what we become are undoubtedly circumscribed by the options before us. I think that the individual is just that. However, individuals share in this collective experience we often call culture.

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You are currently reading Behind the Gates at CA94: A Cultural Crash Course.


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