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Power, Discursive Space and Institutional Practices in the Construction of Housing Problems


Jacobs, KA and Kemeny, J and Manzi, T, Power, Discursive Space and Institutional Practices in the Construction of Housing Problems, Housing Studies, 18, (4) pp. 429-446. ISSN 0267-3037 (2003) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1080/0267303032000117861


A constructionist approach to the study of social problems and housing policy provides a theoretically informed means of analysing the ways in which housing policy is formulated and implemented. Yet despite a strong commitment by housing researchers to policy relevance, constructionist studies of how specific social problems are generated and deployed have so far made only a limited impact on housing research. The paper addresses this lacuna by first discussing important literature and the key conceptual issues in this field of study. This is followed by a discussion of two examples from recent UK housing policy (the shift in the 1980s from defining lone mothers as the victims of housing shortages to a morally questionable group subverting needs-based allocation policies and the re-emergence of anti-social behaviour as a problem on housing estates). The paper's conclusion is that the 'construction of problems' provides a rich source of new material as well as offering significant opportunities to develop a more critically informed housing research agenda.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Urban sociology and community studies
Objective Division:Indigenous
Objective Group:Pacific Peoples community services
Objective Field:Pacific Peoples community services not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Jacobs, KA (Professor Keith Jacobs)
ID Code:26656
Year Published:2003
Web of Science® Times Cited:75
Deposited By:Sociology and Social Work
Deposited On:2003-08-01
Last Modified:2010-06-18
Downloads:1 View Download Statistics

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