Dr. Chase is an associate professor of geography and planning at California State University–Chico, Chico, California 95929–0425.
THEIR SPACE: SECURITY AND SERVICE WORKERS IN A BRAZILIAN GATED COMMUNITY*
Article first published online: 21 APR 2010
2008 American Geographical Society
Volume 98, Issue 4, pages 476–495, October 2008
How to Cite
CHASE, J. (2008), THEIR SPACE: SECURITY AND SERVICE WORKERS IN A BRAZILIAN GATED COMMUNITY. Geographical Review, 98: 476–495. doi: 10.1111/j.1931-0846.2008.tb00313.x
I am grateful to the Department of Geography and Planning at California State University–Chico, which provided me with a semester-long sabbatical to complete my research in Brazil. I also would like to thank my Brazilian friends and colleagues, especially Rachel, Ralfo, Rosení, and Cid, and Heloísa Soares de Moura Costa, for their interest and kind support. To the people who told me their stories, and to the members of the gated community who provided me with data, ideas, and a place to stay: muito obrigada. Two anonymous reviewers and the editor of this journal made insightful suggestions. All shortcomings in this article my responsibility.
- Issue published online: 21 APR 2010
- Article first published online: 21 APR 2010
- gated communities;
- service workers
ABSTRACT. This study examines the role of service workers in creating a secure landscape in a zone of gated communities near Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Most research on gated communities emphasizes their segregation and formal security apparatuses. In fact, gated communities interact with surrounding rural settlements because they draw their service employees from them. Security emerges from informal relationships of trust that property owners establish with service workers. Gardeners, especially, enable homeowners to project their property investment to others through landscaping. Equally of importance, a manicured garden conveys the message that a home is receiving daily attention—and is secure—even if the owner is not present. The study probes this interdependence from the point of view of gardeners in the context of one gated community in an area south of Belo Horizonte and the attempts by members of its homeowners association to minimize the sense of fear they associate with the Brazilian city.