I get what you’re saying. But I think ‘absentee’ is still appropriate for a couple of different reasons. First, absenteeism exists at/across multiple scales. Second, absenteeism isn’t (or, in my opinion, shouldn’t be) defined simply by geography, but also by social relations. Applying these ideas to your comment, how are you defining “entirely different economic region(s)” and “local actors”? Where (and how) would one draw the line around Lexington’s economic region? Or the East End’s? What makes one a local? If one is local to Lexington, are they local to all of Lexington equally? I think trying to answer these questions reveals that they don’t really tell us much about the substantive processes at play.
Ultimately, I think there’s a contradiction in what this analysis shows: on the one hand, the East End is fundamentally connected to Lexington’s more affluent neighborhoods through relations of property ownership. On the other hand, this relationship is characterized by incredibly uneven power relations and a kind of social or relational distance, even when the absolute distance is relatively small, which means that the “interaction between these land owners and the communities in which they own property” tends to be pretty much uni-directional in a way that doesn’t benefit those communities. In other words, the substance of absenteeism is pretty much the same whether the owner is two miles away or two-hundred miles away.