Critical Realism and Housing Research
By Julie Lawson
To Be Published September 27th 2013 by Routledge – 288 pages
Series: Ontological Explorations
Since the nineteenth century various housing solutions have evolved, such as sprawling Australian home ownership and compact Dutch social rental housing. This phenomenon cannot be adequately explained with simple descriptions of key events, politics and housing outcomes. Critical Realism and Housing Studies pushes debate forward, arguing that a new ontological perspective is required to address fundamental issues in housing and comparative research.
This book is clearly organized into three parts which:
Lawson proposes that we turn to critical realism for the solution. From this perspective the causal tendencies of complex, open and structured housing phenomena are highlighted. With this insight we are able to extract the key social arrangements which promote different housing solutions from the historical case studies. Social arrangements which are found to influence alternative pathways in housing history concern the property rights, circuit of savings and investment, as well as labour and welfare relations. As they develop differently over time and space they affect where, when and how housing solutions develop.
1. Introduction Part 1: Ontology, Methodology, Conceptual Issues 2. Ontology Matters 3. Methodology and Comparative Research 4. Alternative Theories for the Composition and Dynamics of Housing Provision 5. Postulating an Explanation for Housing Divergence Part 2: Diverging Housing Solutions: The Case Study Evidence 6. Explaining Divergent Tenure Patterns and Urban Form - The Australian Case of Low Density Home Ownership 7. Explaining Divergent Tenure Patterns and Urban for Part Three Part 3: Summary and Conclusions 8. Explaining and Comparing Housing 'Solutions'