Privileging the "Objective": Understanding the State's Role in Shaping Housing Aspirations


Crawford J & McKee K (2018) Privileging the "Objective": Understanding the State's Role in Shaping Housing Aspirations. Housing, Theory and Society, 35 (1), pp. 94-112.

This paper is to be read as one half of a twofold analysis of recent qualitative research on the housing aspirations of the people of Scotland, focusing specifically on the dimension of housing tenure. Moving beyond individual subjective preferences (i.e. what people "consciously" want or desire in relation to housing), this paper draws influence from David Harvey’s historical materialist approach to illustrate the importance of understanding the dialectical relation between objective reality and subjective preferences. We argue that it is by examining the broad homologies between the qualitative data on one hand, and the corresponding epochs of capital accumulation on the other, that important power structures can be made visible, and changes in housing aspirations over time better understood.

housing aspirations, capital accumulation, Bourdieu, state

Housing, Theory and Society: Volume 35, Issue 1

FundersScottish Government
Publication date02/01/2018
Publication date online20/03/2017
Date accepted by journal01/01/2017
PublisherInforma UK Limited

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