The term property generally refers to the physical possessions an individual owns. Legally, there are two types of property: real and personal. In the United States, concepts of real property focused primarily on land ownership. However, the transition from an agricultural society to an industrial society changed concepts of property, moving the focus to personal property, both tangible and intangible. Physical labor exemplifies intangible personal property, while tangible personal property exists in the form of home ownership. Because manhood and freedom have historically been tied to property, ownership of property has taken on specific importance for American males.

From the time of the Greek philosopher Aristotle, Western thought identified property ownership as a necessary condition for citizenship, political virtue, and liberty— all of which have ...

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