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Public Housing and Social Capital in Australia


Donoghue, J and Tranter, BK, Public Housing and Social Capital in Australia, LHI Journal of Land, Housing, and Urban Affairs, 4, (2) pp. 145-152. ISSN 2234-1765 (2013) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2013 LHI Journal

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DOI: doi:10.5804/LHIJ.2013.4.2.145


This paper addresses the relationship between public housing tenure and social disadvantage; the research examines social capital levels among public tenants in Australia, concentrating on their level of interpersonal trust and confidence in a range of public institutions. Through multivariate analyses of national survey data it also profiles the social and political background of public housing tenants. Although public housing tenants have access to secure and affordable housing, they appear to be less trusting and ‘happy’ than private renters or homeowners, and exhibit less confidence in some institutions such as the Australian parliament, universities and the ABC (the public television broadcaster). These results reflect the residualised nature of public housing in Australia and indicate that public tenants are likely to be ‘alienated’ from certain aspects of mainstream culture. However, public tenants have higher levels of confidence in the defence forces and trades union than homeowners, so public housing may well ‘shore up’ social capital with levels of trust in certain institutions likely to be even lower if public housing was not available.

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:Community services
Objective Field:Structure, delivery and resourcing
UTAS Author:Donoghue, J (Dr Jed Donoghue)
UTAS Author:Tranter, BK (Professor Bruce Tranter)
ID Code:85552
Year Published:2013
Deposited By:School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2013-07-17
Last Modified:2014-04-04
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