Housing relations
(P47)
Location H
Date and Time 8th December, 2008 at 13:30

Convenor

Julie Park (University of Auckland) j.park@auckland.ac.nz
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Short Abstract

This panel considers the ways that dynamic constructions of space manifest changing ideas about social inclusion and exclusion.

Long Abstract

This panel considers the ways that dynamic constructions of space manifest changing ideas about social inclusion and exclusion.

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.

Papers

Ownership, Appropriation and the Reproduction Cycle of Afro-descendent Houses in Salvador, Bahia

Author: Maria Gabriela Hita (Federal University of Bahia) mghita@uol.com.br

Short Abstract

Reproduction of extended family organization amongst poor Bahians is examined through transformations of a house. New houses emerge from a matriarchal nucleus, through donation, inheritance, appropriation or exclusion of kin, yet change replicates the logic of matriarchal family organization.

Abstract

The house in the physical sense is a scarce resource in Brazil, yet the locus of identities and belonging for those who inhabit it. In the context of the poverty and precarious urban development of slums in Salvador, a city with eighty percent Afrodescendent population, I analyse the mode of reproduction of a matriarchal type of extended family common among poor Bahians. The analysis of the transformations of the houses - in both the physical and symbolic senses - of such families captures processes that are central to inter-family relations, the life course of family members, and the emergence of new identities. I examine a case in which four new semi-independent households emerged from an original matriarchal nucleus in the original geographical space, either through donation of space while the matriarch was alive, inheritance after her death, non-consensual appropriation of part of the terrain, or exclusion of members of this kin group from their rights in the house. These transformations reveal the dynamics of group relations in terms of conflicts, alliances, belonging and identities, which are repeatedly renegotiated, stigmatizing some members of the family and empowering others. The analysis aims to show that far from breaking the logic of matriarchal family organization, these processes lead to its reproduction in a new life cycle in which new households replicate the original by incorporating grandchildren and the partners of the matriarch's children in new houses that remain connected to the master network of kinship and affinity of which they are part.

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Residence, intimacy and resilience: urban poor housing and kinship in Tatalon 1953-2007

Author: Michael Pinches (University of Western Australia) michael.pinches@uwa.edu.au

Short Abstract

to follow

Abstract

Urban poor housing in the Philippines is variously looked upon by outsiders with revulsion, fear or sympathy. Alongside the mansions, apartments or townhouses of well-to-do urban dwellers, or even the nipa hut of the rural peasant, urban poor housing is rarely taken seriously, except as a problem. This paper seeks to challenge that perspective by examining the rich social and creative life that is acted out through housing in an urban poor neighbourhood in Tatalon, Manila. Focusing on kinship, community and residence, the paper examines the material and symbolic ways in which poor rural migrants have inscribed themselves in urban space in the face of hostility from outsiders. It further considers the major factors that have contributed to change and continuity over half a century in this neighbourhood.

Shoestring Democracy: Private Governance in Coops and Gated Communities in New York City

Author: Setha Low (Graduate Center, CUNY) slow@gc.cuny.edu

Short Abstract

Based a 2006-2007 open-ended, semi-structured interview with 25 New York City coop residents, and 25 New York and Long Island previously collected gated community interviews, this paper queries the differences between these two forms of private governance; their social, psychological, and political consequences for residents; their systems of conflict resolution; and their impact on exclusionary housing practices.

Abstract

Do middle class cooperative housing residents have similar motivations for moving to coops as gated community residents? Do they experience the same kinds of conflicts and modes of conflict resolution with their coop boards and as gated community residents with their Homeowner Associations? What can be learned about the impact of private governance on diversity, exclusivity, and daily social interactions of residents living in coops and gated communities? The paper begins with a summary of the gated community/coop projects, outlining how the research has progressed from a study of signification, that is, of the symbolic order and modes of discourse that support private governance, to an analysis of the political, economic and legal institutions that produce the normative regulation of private housing. A description of the recent study of coops and the history of cooperative housing in New York City follows with a brief review of the original gated community study. Excerpts drawn from interviews are then used to illustrate the various dimensions of the comparison, focusing on the new areas of discourse found in the coop interviews and the differences in the interpretation of regulation and participation at each research site. Examples of these subtle differences include that coop residents are concerned with safety rather than security, while gated community residents want to feel safe and secure; and coop residents emphasize that they feel comfortable in their homes because they know they are with people like themselves, while gated community residents move to secured communities, hoping to find people like themselves.