Date of Award

9-2009

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Political Science

First Advisor

John Brigham, Chair

Second Advisor

Laura Jensen, Member

Third Advisor

Ellen Pader, Member

Subject Categories

Political Science

Abstract

This dissertation focuses on the dynamics of gated communities with attention to the municipality of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. Despite the growing numbers of gated communities worldwide, research on this matter remains scarce. I argue that a “gated community consensus” has emerged in Puerto Rico. The hypothesis is that in Guaynabo, the municipality facilitates the emergence of gated communities in order to change the face of the city and reap an economic windfall. Interviews demonstrate the municipality’s commitment to facilitating the construction of new communities and lending support to older communities. Most of these gated communities respond to high end income projects, thus altering the profile of Guaynabo’s residents. This has all led to the development of Guaynabo as a commodity, Guaynabo City, suitable to contractors, the municipality, and interested buyers. The gates confer prestige in the municipality.

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