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Residential Crowding in a "Distressed" and a "Gentrified" Neighbourhood - Towards an Understanding of Crowding in "Gentrified" Neighbourhoods
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for Housing and Urban Research.
2015 (English)In: Housing, Theory and Society, ISSN 1403-6096, E-ISSN 1651-2278, Vol. 32, no 4, 429-449 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Previous research has often associated residential crowding with impoverished segments of the population, often living in distressed neighbourhoods, and detrimental consequences for crowded households. However, according to official housing standards, crowding is also common in some gentrified inner-city areas. This paper problematizes these findings in two ways: first, by discussing how the theoretical implications of traditional indicators, such as dwelling standards, can be traded off for perceptions of neighbourhood identity; and second, by comparing the socio-economic profiles of the residents in a distressed and a gentrified neighbourhood. The findings suggest that distressed crowding due to deficient economic and other resources is spatially segregated from gentrified crowding where the desire to live in attractive areas might outweigh living space considerations. These findings call for further research into people's experiences of crowding in relation to other qualities of the dwelling - in particular, the residential neighbourhood.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala Univ, Inst Housing & Urban Res IBF, S-75309 Uppsala, Sweden., 2015. Vol. 32, no 4, 429-449 p.
Keyword [en]
Distressed neighbourhoods, Gentrification, Urban sociology, Identity, Housing policy
National Category
Other Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-265641DOI: 10.1080/14036096.2015.1059355ISI: 000361829600004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-265641DiVA: diva2:866786
Available from: 2015-11-03 Created: 2015-11-02 Last updated: 2016-09-19Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Trångboddhet: Mellan bostadsstandard och boendemoral
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Trångboddhet: Mellan bostadsstandard och boendemoral
2016 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Residential crowding is frequently associated with impoverished segments of the population, often living in distressed neighbourhoods, and with detrimental consequences for crowded households. The aim of this thesis is to apply a sociological and historical perspective on residential crowding by analyzing Swedish governmental texts and quantitative survey data. Politically defined welfare standards, as well as the subjective experience of crowding are analyzed and interpreted through sociological welfare and governmentality theory.

The arguments justifying the official governmental standards on residential crowding – first formulated in the mid-1930s – are explored in a discourse analysis. The analysis shows that there is a strong link between what is regarded to be appropriate dwelling space and what is regarded to be morally good housing conditions. In the 1930s and 1940s experts’ decided on what was adequate dwelling space, however in the mid- 1980s experts’ ability to decide on dwelling space was highly questioned. Instead it became an individual responsibility to decide on how to reside. Hence, what constitutes morally good and morally bad dwelling conditions is debated and dispersed on many actors.

Two parallel discourses on crowding, a ”gentrified” and a “distressed” are further explored by analyzing the data from a survey study. Subjective as well as objective elements are analyzed by relating socio-economic profiles of the crowded residents in a distressed and a gentrified neighbourhood. Despite income differences within the crowded population, depending on what neighbourhood you live in, the crowded residents in all neighbourhoods experience less freedom regarding their dwelling situation than do non-crowded residents. The least amount of freedom is experienced by those who are crowded both according to the Swedish housing standard and according to a subjective measure of crowding.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2016. 73 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030 ; 131
housing policy, welfare sociology, governmentality theory, mixed method, needs and wants
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-303375 (URN)978-91-554-9693-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-11-04, Eva Netzeliussalen (10:K102), Blåsenhus, von Kraemers allé 1A, Uppsala, 10:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2016-10-13 Created: 2016-09-18 Last updated: 2016-10-19

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