Beyond Affordability: English Cohousing Communities as White Middle-Class Spaces

ARBELL, Yael (2021). Beyond Affordability: English Cohousing Communities as White Middle-Class Spaces. Housing, Theory and Society.

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Official URL: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14036...
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1080/14036096.2021.1998217
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    Abstract

    Cohousing is widely celebrated as a socially and environmentally sustainable housing model, but remains a small sector with a distinct social profile: White, highly educated and with middle-high income. Drawing on mixed-methods research and using a Bourdieusian analysis, this paper argues that culture, and not affordability, is the main barrier to inclusion. Contrary to previous claims, the study found that awareness of cohousing is born within like-minded circles and not locally. The quantitative aspect provides up-to-date data on the social profile of cohousing communities in England, and the qualitative data show how cohousing is reproduced as a White and middle-class space due to cultural capital and habitus – an invisible social system that maintains privilege. At the same time, the data also show that cohousing is in fact more diverse than is perceived.

    Plain Text Summary

    Cohousing is widely celebrated as a socially and environmentally sustainable housing model, but remains a small sector with a distinct social profile: White, highly educated and with middle-high income. Drawing on mixed-methods research and using a Bourdieusian analysis, this paper argues that culture, and not affordability, is the main barrier to inclusion. Contrary to previous claims, the study found that awareness of cohousing is born within like-minded circles and not locally. The quantitative aspect provides up-to-date data on the social profile of cohousing communities in England, and the qualitative data show how cohousing is reproduced as a White and middle-class space due to cultural capital and habitus – an invisible social system that maintains privilege. At the same time, the data also show that cohousing is in fact more diverse than is perceived.

    Item Type: Article
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Urban & Regional Planning; 1205 Urban and Regional Planning; 1604 Human Geography; 1608 Sociology
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1080/14036096.2021.1998217
    SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
    Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
    Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2021 15:15
    Last Modified: 09 Nov 2021 15:15
    URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/29306

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