Power In Housing

Decent Essays

For as long as it existed, power has affected how society was run, and has created with its existence the concept of the powerful and the powerless, or those who comparatively has less power than the former group. That the powerful has the ability to exert dominance over the powerless may be obvious and even readily accepted. However, it is important to realize that power also plays a role in less obvious ways, and that these ways are often just as detrimental, if not more so, than the impacts of power that may arise at the surface. Take, for example, the issue of housing and how where individuals reside affects their lives. Power plays a role in housing in more ways than that meets the eye, which impact the lives of individuals in the form …show more content…

At the surface, these areas may seem completely harmless and appear merely to be areas individuals have chosen to live in so that they can be close to other individuals who share their ethnicities; however, while this may be partly true, “‘ethnic enclave’ and its vocabulary of cultural community have been preferred over ‘ghetto’ to describe the racially segregated, economically impoverished spaces. This preference reflects a denial that racialized class inequity exists in America” (Chang 2). In other words, ethnic enclaves, as harmless they may seem, are synonymous to ghettos as they are undeniably areas with less economic resources as well as areas those in power who, in this case are white Americans, did not choose to live in (insert source). Furthermore, compared to areas that can easily to considered “white,” ethnic enclaves have less resources, like schools and hospitals, available (source), hence the reason why parents strive to send their children to schools – elementary, middle, and high schools – that are not designated as home schools, as home schools are determined based on areas of …show more content…

While disasters are bound to happen regardless of how wealthy and powerful neighborhoods are, the measures taken afterwards to deal with the consequences of the disasters differ greatly from area to area. Take, for example fire disasters in Malibu as compared to those in Downtown Los Angeles. According to Mike Davis, Malibu fires are inevitable and occur “as long as private residential development is tolerated in the fire ecology of the Santa Monicas” (4). However, individuals still choose to live in Malibu because they have the power and wealth to afford to do so. Furthermore, “defended in 1993 by the largest army of firefighters in California history, wealthy Malibu homeowners also benefitted from an extraordinary range of insurance, landuse, and disaster relief subsidies as well as obsessive media coverage” (Davis 4). On the other hand, “many of the 100-or-so recent fatalities from tenement fires in the Westlake and Downtown areas might have been prevented if slumlords had been held to minimal standards of building safety” (Davis 4). Furthermore, although these fires were much more unfortunate and fatal, considering that they were preventable, more government and media attention was paid to the disasters in Malibu. According to Davis, “if enormous resources have been allocated- quixotically-to fight irresistible forces of nature on the Malibu coast, then scandalously little attention has

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