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“Can't Live With Them, Can't Landscape Without Them”
Can't Live With Them, Can't Landscape Without Them

“Landscapes are produced and maintained in ways that are largely unseen by those who happen to drive past, admiring the beauty of the landscape. Deeply embedded in the landscape are human costs invisible to the eye. In this paper we investigate some of the many social and material relations that underlie the pastoral views that characterize one particularly beautiful village. Bedford, a suburb of New York City, is a site of aesthetic consumption practices in which the residents derive pleasure and achieve social status by preserving and enhancing the beauty of their town. We explore the way in which the beautiful landscape of Bedford is internally related to the poor living conditions of Latino day laborers in a neighboring town, Mount Kisco. Global political and economic structures as well as the structure of local zoning, supported by a socio-spatial ideology of local autonomy and home rule, lie beneath Bedford's successful exclusion of its laborers and Mount Kisco's failure to keep out what they see as Bedford's and Latin America's 'negative externalities.' Our argument is that aesthetic concerns dominate social and economic relations between Latino immigrants and receiving communities.”

James Duncan and Nancy Duncan, “Can't Live With Them, Can't Landscape Without Them.” Landscape Journal Volume 22, Number 2, pp. 88-98 (1 September 2003)

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