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Property and Community$
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Gregory S. Alexander and Eduardo M. Peñalver

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195391572

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195391572.001.0001

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Property in a queue

Property in a queue

Property and Community


Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the interaction of property, space and time within the social phenomenon that we know as the queue: the physical line-up in expectation of service. Those who stand in line tend, whether consciously or not, to adopt many of the perceptions and strategies associated with proprietary entitlement. The chapter therefore explores the proprietary implications or connotations of the behavioral protocol of lining up. The normative regime of the queue is ultimately premised on some personal sense of ownership of time. Accordingly, the community of the queue has much to tell us about the nature of proprietary experience; about how, in fact, we think property. The chapter concludes that the creation of social order exemplified in the line-up for service throws a significant light on the deep origins of the concept of property.

Keywords:   property, norms, queue, time

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