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CLJ Faculty Drs. Susila Gurusami & Rahim Kurwa Author New Publication on How the Home is Regulated Through the Logic of Broken Windows Policing


"Broken windows policing is traditionally understood as a tactic of governing public space, but in this essay, we show how this mode of policing also constitutes a war on domestic space. We take up Joy James’s call to investigate how the domestic of domestic warfare necessitates an understanding of the home and household, and we ask how the state leverages broken windows–style policing to govern the home. Drawing from three different cases in Los Angeles County—gang injunctions, post-release supervision, and housing vouchers—we use ethnographic data, interviews, and court filings to show how the state treats the homes of people of color as broken sites of disorder. We contend that it is the state that engages in homebreaking, not the residents. Contextualized within Black feminist scholarship, we identify home-breaking as the state’s attempt to break the home as a site of social reproduction and refuge from oppression, one of many state practices that fracture families of color and their homes, and we identify and examine two such stages of homebreaking: spying—surveillance of the home in ways that mark everyday behaviors and conditions as disordered and punishable; and raiding—punitive state intrusion that forces changes on the home or leads to punishment for perceived disorder."

Read the full article at Project Muse