- A concept which emerged from a study of Sparkbrook, an inner-city area of Birmingham (UK), conducted by John Rex and Robert Moore during the 1960s (see Race, Community and Conflict, 1967). In this study, urban social groups are conceptualized in terms of a struggle over the allocation of scarce resources, the main focus being access to desirable suburban housing. In Birmingham ethnicity was a key issue in determining access, linked both with disadvantage in the market and the bureaucratic regulation of public-sector housing allocation. (Immigrants to the city from abroad lacked the sizeable and secure income necessary to raise a loan for house-purchase, and were excluded from local authority housing by a prior-residence qualification, which forced them into sub-standard multi-occupied dwellings supplied by private landlords in the inner city.) The outcome of this struggle is expressed in terms of the formation of different housing classes. Class is used here in the Weberian sense of being based on common life-chances .The concept of housing class has been subject to much criticism. One objection is that position in the housing market is in fact determined by position in the labour-market ; that is, by social- class position with reference to the sphere of production. Similarly, other critics have argued that there are status-linked advantages and disadvantages which determine this struggle for housing, and that these are the real source of the problems faced by particular ethnic groups. A further criticism has been directed at Rex and Moore's proposition that ‘the basic process underlying urban social interaction is competition for scarce and desired types of housing’. This assumes a unitary value system (the suburban ideal) which, subsequent empirical research suggests, may not in fact exist. Different residential outcomes may reflect (at least in part) different housing preferences and styles of life. However, most criticisms address the problems common to any attempt to produce a ranked classification of social groupings, notably those of how the categories themselves are defined and how to incorporate the possibility of different prospects for those currently occupying identical positions.The theory of housing classes is thoroughly explored from the point of view of urban social theory in, Social Theory and the Urban Question (1983). and assessed against the background of the literature on race in, Racial and Ethnic Competition (1983).
Dictionary of sociology. 2013.
Look at other dictionaries:
housing, sociological studies of — There is not, nor can there be, any uniquely defined sociology of housing. The nature of housing as a physical artefact, its spatial distribution and the terms of its occupancy (physical, legal, financial), are affected by social structures and… … Dictionary of sociology
class, housing — See housing class … Dictionary of sociology
Housing at the University of Chicago — includes 10 residence halls that are divided into 35 houses. Each house has an average of 70 students. Freshmen must live on campus, and housing is guaranteed but not required thereafter. The University operates 28 apartment buildings near… … Wikipedia
housing — Housing in Britain has increasingly been dominated by one type, the owner occupied, single family dwelling in a suburb, in marked contrast to practice elsewhere in Europe. It is not however the only form of British housing, and emphasizing it… … Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture
Housing association — Housing associations in the United Kingdom are independent not for profit bodies that provide low cost social housing for people in housing need. Any trading surplus is used to maintain existing homes and to help finance new ones. They are now… … Wikipedia
Housing at the University of California, Berkeley — consists of student housing facilities run by the office of Residential and Student Service Programs. Housing is also offered by off campus entities such as fraternities and sororities, and cooperatives (see See Also section). Contents 1 UCB… … Wikipedia
Housing Segregation — is the practice of denying African American or other minority groups equal access to housing through the process of misinformation, denial of realty and financing services, and racial steering. Misinformation can take the form of realtors or… … Wikipedia
housing — Before 1949 housing was largely owned by private individuals or families. After the establishment of Mao’s socialist regime, however, almost all residential structures in the cities were nationalized. Each housing unit was divided into several… … Encyclopedia of Contemporary Chinese Culture
Class discrimination — Not to be confused with Classicism. Part of a series on Discrimination General forms … Wikipedia
Housing cooperative — Not to be confused with building cooperative. 999 N. Lake Shore Drive, a coop owned residential building in Chicago, Illinois, United States … Wikipedia