The diverse economies of housing: patterns of inequality in Romanian suburbia

Soaita, A. M. (2018) The diverse economies of housing: patterns of inequality in Romanian suburbia. Regional Studies Association Winter Conference, London, UK, 14-15 Nov 2018.

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Drawing on Eurostat-SILC micro-data, we explain patterns of (dis)advantageous modes of owner-occupancy and changes during 2007-16. To do this, we first introduce the concept of ‘diverse economies’ – capitalist, alternative-capitalist and non-capitalist, past and present – to housing studies. This helps us illuminate the ways in which the current housing system in Romania has been historically constituted and currently afforded, occupied and experienced across the urban-rural divide, with a special focus on the new phenomenon of suburbanisation through self-development. It also justifies our operationalisation of the divergent ways in which diverse economies intertwine in the provision/consumption of housing by differentiating between five ‘housing types’ (across the categories of urban/rural and house/flat). Secondly, changing patterns of socioeconomic stratification by housing types are examined. Suburban developments explain two of these: the fast polarisation in urban houses through the addition of new suburban, self-developed homes; and a growing sector of new-built flats in commuting rural areas which show a surprisingly economically advantaged and young profile. Besides these, we found socioeconomic patterns of extreme disadvantage and further residualisation in rural houses without utility provisions; a balanced profile in rural houses with utility provision; and persistent advantage in urban flats. Our analysis demonstrates that housing disadvantage is more severe when households’ non-capitalist and alternative economic practices have been least articulated with the formal economy, such as in rural locations and unskilled individuals. Conversely, housing advantage arises from positive synergies between diverse economic practices, privileging urban and suburban locations and high-status.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Soaita, Dr Adriana Mihaela
Authors: Soaita, A. M.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies

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