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A Genealogy of Public Housing Production: Practice, Knowledge and the Broadacre Housing Estate


Flanagan, K, A Genealogy of Public Housing Production: Practice, Knowledge and the Broadacre Housing Estate, Housing, Theory and Society, 32, (4) pp. 407-428. ISSN 1403-6096 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 IBF

DOI: doi:10.1080/14036096.2015.1054947


The rise of neoliberalism in the 1970s and its consequences for housing policy have long interested researchers. This study treats neoliberalism as a discursive practice that produces knowledge, including our knowledge of the past. Using a Foucauldian approach to the analysis of historical files housed in the archives of one Australian state, I examine the emergence of the "failed" broadacre public housing estate as an object of discourse. I argue that this object emerged as a localized effect of a reconfiguration in what Foucault refers to as the "discursive constellation" which placed neoliberalism at a higher level within that constellation. The effect was to change the conditions of possibility for the production of knowledge within lower discursive levels, and in the case of housing policy, it became difficult to know that broadacre development was anything other than a mistake and a failure. I argue that widespread acceptance of this view within the policy community today arises from a set of relations between knowledge and power predicated upon particular discursive rules and procedures of control. Recognition that our knowledge is conditional is the first step in a process of critique that can transform our responses to locational disadvantage, poverty and stigmatization.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Urban sociology and community studies
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Government and politics
Objective Field:Government and politics not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Flanagan, K (Dr Kathleen Flanagan)
ID Code:103233
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2015-09-29
Last Modified:2017-11-06

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