"A place that is different from the usual capitalist world”: the potential of community-led housing as safe and just spaces

ARBELL, Yael (2021). "A place that is different from the usual capitalist world”: the potential of community-led housing as safe and just spaces. Spatial Justice, 16.

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Safe spaces offer relief from oppression, but they can do more and become spaces of social justice. Drawing on two case-study communities in the UK and Nancy Fraser’s theory of justice, this paper argues that safe spaces can become just spaces by responding to three aspects of injustice: socioeconomic, cultural-symbolic and political. Members of the case-study communities perceived their housing as safe and just spaces and contrasted it to the injustice of capitalist society. The communities offered affordable and not-for-profit secured housing; provided stability, respect and support to members, and ensured that members had a voice regarding their housing and community. A sense of safety and justice was achieved through the combination of democratic decision-making, a non-profit legal structure and social relations committed to mutual aid. Nevertheless, communities are not perfect; the paper also reveals the complexities in these communities, such as power dynamics and exclusion, which compromise their safety for some members and limit their potential for social transformation. Finally, the paper contributes to the large body of literature on safe spaces from racism and homophobia by reporting on an under-theorised form of safe space: one which offers protection from the oppression of neoliberalism.

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SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2021 14:29
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2021 16:10
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/28980

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