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Gated communities are a rapidly expanding fixture across the social landscape and an increasingly preferable housing option for homebuyers and renters. These communities span the United States, but are especially common in the “Sun Belt” region along the American South and Southwest, and are proliferating similarly in nations worldwide. In the United States alone, recent estimates suggest that more than 4 million gated communities exist, and this figure is steadily increasing. Scholars observe that the rise of gated communities coincides with a period of escalating public fear of crime and concerns for safety, arguing that gated communities are a form of modern “fortress building.” Although not all residents seek gated communities for fear of victimization, these enclaves appeal to many because of the security, privacy, ...

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