- escape, or moving away from the stimulus (leaving a noisy room, for instance)
- division, or erecting a barrier between us and the stimulus (closing a door, for instance)
- withdrawl, or body language that indicates you don't want to be disturbed (not making eye contact in the elevator, a group of friends in a close circle that disinvites others from entering, etc.)
- anonymity, or going to a place where information flow doesn't matter because people don't know who you are and so the information isn't really linked to a person (every small-town gay kid who grew up and moved to a big city knows about this one)
The other common definition of "privacy" is the economic one, the opposite of "public" in terms of ownership -- private property, private club, privately-held corporation, etc. Public park, private yard; public road, private drive.
Bickford's use, I think, is a complex blending of the two. She's certainly talking about "privatization" in terms of ownership -- the rec center that's only open to members of the development, the independent security force that we pay for. But why do we want to own these things? Why do we want to be removed from people who aren't like us?
Even though her discussion is largely around the physical environment and its economic structure, she (and many of you in your blog posts) have talked about all four of Altman's privacy-mechanism behaviors:
- escape, or moving away from the city and into the suburbs
- division, or creating walls and gates and guardhouses
- withdrawl, or the "border vaccums" (Bickford 369) that pull our gated communities out into the cornfields so they don't even abut the next gated community (another example of withdrawl is the common modern house form that places the garage at the forefront, with the house hunkered down behind it for protection)
- anonymity, or not making effort to know your neighbors.
So what's the "information" that we're trying to control in these larger social ways? What do we not want to be exposed to, or to expose ourselves to? Bickford raises some possibilities on p. 365, but those are pretty theoretical. Let's be specific.