The Affluent Home Owner: Labour Market Position and the Shaping of Housing Histories

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The Sociological Review, ISSN: 0038-0261, Vol: 35, Issue: 2, Page: 370-403

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SAGE Publications; SAGE Publications Ltd
Social Sciences; Sociology; Urban Studies
article description
This article draws on research designed to explore aspects of social stratification within owner occupation. The research reconstructed and compared the housing, employment and family histories of two groups of home owners in two contrasting localities in Bristol. This article focuses on the top end of the owner occupied market, a neglected area in the sociology of housing, and explores the connections between bargaining power in the labour market and the shaping of housing histories. It is argued that core workers in the labour market exercise choice in the housing market within a framework of job determined constraints. These constraints are accompanied by a range of subsidies and benefits which are unavailable to the majority of households. As a consequence it is suggested that this group's housing histories are shaped by qualitatively distinct processes which go beyond the single fact that their earned incomes are relatively large. Copyright © 1987, Wiley Blackwell. All rights reserved