Homeownership and the Politics of Exclusion
This chapter rescales the analysis to the level of the community to ask about the way homeowners reshape the places where they live. Deepening current theories of NIMBY politics, it argues that homeowners often steer local political discussions as they work to protect their property values. Contrary to classic accounts of community engagement, which highlight the benefits to communities from high levels of civic participation, this chapter shows that homeowners often participate in a politics of exclusion. Their involvement narrows the opportunity for meaningful political dialogue and prioritizes property values over other community interests. Homeowners’ participation keeps people from accessing high-opportunity neighborhoods and reinforces symbolic boundaries between homeowners and renters.
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