Property and Propriety


The case for the relationship between property and propriety in resettlement and establishment of cities follows the political implications for marginalized populations. Such populations include the poor and their search for ownership and possession of private property and the search for a sense of belonging. In essence, the concept of the sense of belonging becomes the capital connection between property and propriety. Essentially, this connection has led to the creation of structural and symbolic environments where private property has become the number one priority for members of the community. The need to belong and own private property is fundamental to understanding the politics community land examination, labor processes, qualities of native landowners, private versus public land property, mobilization of new urban settlement imaginaries, fiscal qualities and how other issues such as inheritance are responsible for transformation and, or creation of a new city. According to Murphy (2015), the efforts of marginalized communities to establish themselves by creating their own cities such as Santiago relates to the efforts aligned to the promises by the political and social elite with regards to propriety to property and world-class developments in such areas.

The Connection between property and propriety

In definition, the property stands for items that can be individually or communally help by a person or group of persons. On the other hand, propriety describes an individual’s right to own property inherent of particular issues such as quality and peculiarity. For decades, communities in the Americas were grappling with the issues of property ownership and the sense of belonging in a community that was composed of a repressive elite. This was especially experienced during the period of the rule of the Spanish settlers continuing into the regimes of South American dictators such as General Pinochet.  It follows that community members felt that the social elite and political leaders were taking everything for themselves while leaving the laypeople, especially those living in informal settles exposed. At times, they were faced with eviction notices and actions of the authorities that were aimed at frustrating their settlement initiatives. These claims have fundamentally contributed to shaping the politics surrounding the possibilities and the actual processes of social mobilization. It also helps to dispense some of the community myths with regard to settlement within the urban poor. These include social-economic relationships especially pathological conclusions that can be destructive and which need to be set apart from the rest of societal norms.

In the recent past, the poor have successfully made claims that have helped them to expansively explore and experience their rights as citizens of the communities they live in. This has been crucial to successful mobilization of the community to claim their rights and the overall process of modernity in the Americas and other places. In addition, the criticisms about the marginality experiences such communities and the issues surrounding marginality have fueled a myriad of debates that are focused on the issues of urbanization and acceptability of certain members of the community in a particular urban settlement. Marginality remains a contentious issue in urban settlement programs. This is particularly the case among the majority of the Latin America Urban settlements. The main reason is that these communities are characterized by wanting urban landscapes, exuberated and poorly organized economic structures and low incomes characterized by low-income and less secure employment opportunities. In addition, unemployment and underemployment continue to rise in Latin American communities. This is because of the increased surplus as well as the superfluous workers that are illegally absorbed into the labor market. Inequalities in income and social class establishments have also continued to rise showing a less coherent working force than in the earlier days for the push for native property ownership. This has resulted in criminality and violence that have led to social segregations that are a reminder of the issues of property ownership especially in the land for the poor and marginalized communities of South America.

However, history has shown the importance of the persistence by the South American communities that led to the creation of urban settlements such as Santiago. Such persistence and the role they have played. In modernization of the South American communities have provoked fundamental questions and research into the questions of the relationship between mass urbanization, social inclusion, criminality, mass inequities, market operations and activities of criminal groups such as cartels. For instance, the issue of housing and community settlements has been a thorny issue. For instance, Santiago has been the intellectual hub of Chile having the privilege of hosting `El Centro de Desarrollo Social de América Latina (Center for Social Development in Latin America’. The Institute came up with the DESAL project where it was supposed to operate as an “intellectual home for marginality education” This program was actively implemented by the `Christian Democratic Government of Eduardo Frei Monntalava from the year 1946 to 1970 (Murphy, 2015). However, much of their projects failed but they were able to implement a successful community property ownership scheme. This entailed efforts to help local communities especially the poor to have an opportunity to own their own home. The most important aspect of this program entailed is that provided opportunities for all needy persons across all spectrums of work to on private homes and land.


In spite of the program has survived to date, it is yet to fully implement its reform policies that are aimed at provoking Christian Democrats to deliver on the promises they made that were aimed at securing property. This would justify their push for reforms and activism including several property seizures that were initiated to provide the 400, 000 residents of Santiago with proper housing between the years 1967 to the year 1973. In essence, these actions were done as transgressions of the law but the community viewed these activities as imperative for the survival of their community (Fischer, 2014). As such, residents were assertive of the fact that they had acted properly according to societal requirements that provides that people should free and enjoyable settlements in relation to their styles of living.  During this era, land seizure became an important activity in the community, squatters were testing the legitimacy of their actions as they sought to deliver themselves from the yokes of oppression as well as trying to improve their margins with regard to social life. By exploring the actions, goals, and objectives, the squatters were able to reveal some of the important strategies to eliminate marginalization in property and land ownership in South America. Essentially, marginality was a major issue in the fabrication and continued creation of social and political struggles.

The struggles led to an integration of social power into their actions as they acted on a land seizure. This is what led to the emergence of community dictators such as General Pinochet who started as fighters of the common good but got alienated by their own activist activities. He and others of this social realm erroneously believed that the struggling few were responsible for the on problems and they deserved their living conditions. However, the citizens were able to maintain their claim for property ownership and the ability to own private property like any other members of the community. Across many social circles characterized by poor communities, citizens are required to prove their right to property ownership by asserting their social rights to own property in a particular social setting. The Chilean poor communities were able to assert the claim by having a persistent understanding and waived standing in relation to access to places in the social systems where that are compatible with their standards of living. Recent research has shown that people assert their right to owning property and gaining access to property as dependent on their ability to express their standing. It is from this perspective that it becomes possible to understand the connection between property and propriety.

Central Government and Central Programs

In Chile, squatters, especially low-income earners assumed that they had a right to occupy whatever property they could seize. It was also fundamental to provoking government actions with regard to providing better living conditions for the masses and its ability to fulfill its promises to urban communities. Even though they used unorthodox strategies and for long periods had to operate as insurgents, the squatters were able to ensure that they eliminated the contradictions caused by state versus citizen relationships were overcome. As a result, they were able to change the social-political ideologies that critically affected the social footing of the Chilean community.

Nonetheless, this was a dangerous game that they were playing as the elite class continued to ignore and remain repressive to their efforts. Today, a vast population of the Chilean Citizenry still lives in abject poverty, poor economic status, and lower employment opportunities and often faced with the politics of repression, stigmatization and social sanction.  However, the majority of the population has been able to come out of the negative social property and propriety frameworks heading on to social acceptability, positive economic relations, improved standards of living and stable places of living that has fundamentally improved social standing as well as a sense of belonging.




Fischer, B. (2014). The Red Menace Reconsidered: A Forgotten History of Communist Mobilization in Rio de Janeiro’s Favelas, 1945-1964. Hispanic American Historical Review94(1), 1-33.

Murphy, E. (2015). For a proper home: housing rights in the margins of urban Chile, 1960-2010. University of Pittsburgh Press.

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