Gregory M. Maney and Margaret Abraham



Whose Backyard? Boundary Making in NIMBY Opposition to Immigrant Services

This study explores two contrasting cases of local opposition to services for immigrants. It conceptualizes NIMBYism as the informal policing of boundaries to maintain places of domination. Opponents of a domestic violence shelter and a worker center for day laborers sought to impose physical boundaries through pressuring politicians, using exclusionary tactics, and endangering the safety of immigrants. In efforts to legitimate these activities, opponents constructed discourses of victimization that presented immigrants as either oppressive or as oppressed persons whose victim status victimized residents. The conclusion discusses implications for local efforts to protect the human rights of immigrants in a global economy.

NIMBY, immigration, race, ethnicity, gender, class, nationalism, discourse

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 35, No. 4 (2008): 66-82