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Applying for social housing in Australia - The centrality of cultural, social and emotional capital


Morris, A and Clarke, A and Robinson, C and Idle, J and Parsell, C, Applying for social housing in Australia - The centrality of cultural, social and emotional capital, Housing, Theory and Society, 40, (1) ISSN 1403-6096 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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© 2022 IBF, The Institute for Housing and Urban Research

DOI: doi:10.1080/14036096.2022.2085169


Social housing scarcity has underpinned the development of detailed social housing application processes across Australia. Applications require the strongest possible evidence of disadvantage and need, conceptualized in this paper as the required demonstration of "inverse distinction". Drawing on 47 in-depth interviews in three Australian states with people who have expert knowledge of the application process, we argue that the onerous requirements of the application means that if an applicant does not have a skilled supporter or advocate, they are less likely to achieve an optimal result. Drawing on Bourdieuís framework and the concept of emotional capital, we demonstrate that being prioritized invariably involves an applicant sub-contracting cultural and social capital to an advocate. Further, the latter needs to have the requisite emotional capital. This article shines new light on the practical and emotional workload of social housing applications for both housing professionals and those in need of housing assistance.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:applying social housing, cultural capital, social capital, emotional capital, housing support, housing register, waiting, capital, Australia
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Urban sociology and community studies
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Community services
Objective Field:Homelessness and housing services
UTAS Author:Morris, A (Professor Alan Morris)
UTAS Author:Clarke, A (Dr Andrew Clarke)
UTAS Author:Robinson, C (Associate Professor Catherine Robinson)
ID Code:150342
Year Published:2022
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Sociology and Criminology
Deposited On:2022-06-09
Last Modified:2023-03-16

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