Glocality, Gating, and Social Competence: A trans scalar exploration of gating and separation in the urban form

Open Access
Shannon, Timothy Patrick
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Deryck William Holdsworth, Thesis Supervisor
  • Roger Michael Downs, Honors Advisor
  • gating
  • gated communities
  • glocal
  • separation
  • fear
  • social competence
  • urban history
Gating and other forms of separation within urban environments are investigated across personal, local, and global scales. Working from Lemert’s notions of social competence and sociological imagination, five main questions are posed concerning the author’s personal confusion experienced while living within a gated community at the University of Cape Town. In order to address those concerns, modern and postmodern urban theory are presented and Cape Town is identified as a postmodern city. The rationales for gating in South Africa are studied, and then, borrowing from Swyngedouw, gating is positioned as a ‘glocal’ phenomenon, demonstrating the complex social, political, and economic systems that interact to spur the global resurgence of gating. After developing theorized responses to initial descriptive questions, two new normative questions are posed to direct continued inquiry into gating.