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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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(p.153) 7 Betrayal
Good Neighbors

Nancy L. Rosenblum

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on neighbors turned informers. An abnormal Panoptical society, a “world without walls,” replaces the ordinary boundaries and neutral ground among good neighbors. It becomes a punishable offense to see and hear yet refuse to report, and neighbors become active agents in this system of control. The chapter cites the mass Japanese evacuation and internment at the start of World War II as an example: a story of public betrayal by government and personal betrayal by white neighbors before “relocation” and again after resettlement at the end of the war. It is also a story of brittle, fractionated relations among Japanese families living side by side in the camps.

Keywords:   informers, Panoptical society, control system, Japanese evacuation, betrayal, good neighbors

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