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Good NeighborsThe Democracy of Everyday Life in America$
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Nancy L. Rosenblum

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691169439

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691169439.001.0001

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Taking Offense, Speaking Out

Taking Offense, Speaking Out

(p.91) 4 Taking Offense, Speaking Out
Good Neighbors

Nancy L. Rosenblum

Princeton University Press

This chapter explores ordinary vices and how reciprocity works, or fails to work, when one is faced with a neighbor who gives offense. It asks whether people withdraw, elect detachment, or if they speak out, rally, and recruit others to the cause. Neighbor relations operate in the shadow of the law, and, in some circumstances, dealing with offenses involves appealing to authorities. When people believe their neighbor has violated local ordinances, when their fence encroaches on one's yard or blight fouls the area, people report to police, zoning boards, and housing authorities. People hope for enforcement and compliance and often compensation for the nuisance or emotional distress. So, neighbors file complaints and notify official agencies, such as the Development Review Board, or invoke the General Unsightliness Ordinance.

Keywords:   ordinary vices, offensive neighbor, neighbor relations, local ordinances, Development Review Board, General Unsightliness Ordinance

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