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How the Sociology of Housing Emerged

[journal article]

Musil, Jiri

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Abstract The article attempts to examine the main topics in the sociological study of housing from the end of the Second World War to the 1980s & distinguishes the following five: (1) housing systems & housing policy, (2) the relationship between social stratification & housing differentiation, (3) the relationship between the family & housing, (4) the relationship between housing & neighbourhoods, & (5) housing & architecture as components of culture. During this period the sociological study of housing was strongly influenced by the changes occurring in the housing situation. The post-war housing shortage in Europe & the state's heavy involvement in tackling this problem, along with the rapid rise in the importance of social housing, led to an emphasis on the study of housing systems, housing policy, the methodology of quantitatively measuring housing needs, & the role of the state in the housing sphere, with a heavy stress on the economic dimension of housing issues. A shift to qualitative research on housing, i.e. studying the relationship between the family & housing & the housing needs of the elderly & new families, occurred as the housing shortage declined. Culturally oriented housing research followed, as a response to the search for new identities & for genius loci. As housing has become commodified in Europe & social housing has almost disappeared over the past twenty-five years, there has been revival of the study of the social consequences of narrowly defined economic concepts of housing policy.
Classification Sociology of Settlements and Housing, Urban Sociology
Free Keywords Sociology; Housing; Social Stratification; Family; Housing Market; Housing Policy; Neighborhoods
Publication Year 2005
Page/Pages p. 207-225
Journal Sociologický časopis / Czech Sociological Review, 41 (2005) 2
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications