Despite the nation's seeming obsession with property, the class system is alive and well when it comes to moving house. The research from Sheffield Hallam University, led by Professor Chris Allen, and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) found that attitudes towards climbing the housing ladder were more influenced by social class background than by any other factor.
Researchers identified two groups of household types in the study, which centred on a regeneration neighbourhood of Liverpool. These were dubbed ‘located’ and ‘cosmopolitan’.
Located residents were predominantly working class, and their main consideration was to get from day to day. Housing was seen as having a functional purpose rather than as a source of opportunity.
Professor Chris Allen said: "A typical response was that the number of bedrooms in a house should equate to the number of people living in it. They talked about how they would only move if their house was too large or too small.
“Although happy with their lot, located, or working class residents saw the choice of where to live as only between the suburban ideal, which they could not have, and nothing else. They did not consider a strategic move to climb the housing ladder and reach suburbia eventually.
“This shows just how successful middle class residents have been at imposing their tastes when it comes to the places we live in.” Professor Allen continued: “In other words, located residents only desired what was for 'other people' rather than 'the likes of them', so they only valued what they could not have, and this worsened their chances of moving up. Thus class divisions between the working class and middle classes are comfortable maintained."
The cosmopolitans were typically middle class, educated to a higher level and paid enough to be able to see beyond the need to survive from day to day. They saw living in a regeneration area as a temporary measure before trading up.
Professor Allen said: “They liked the area, but were only ‘here for now’. They were able to step back a bit and judge the place from a distance. And they valued it because of its location in terms of the city centre, and closeness to such places as restaurants and entertainment venues, even if parts of it were 'scruffy'."
Cosmopolitans had a habit of watching TV programmes about property renovation and recognised how run-down properties and a blighted landscape could provide regeneration opportunities.
But while the cosmopolitans had an eye on the future value of property they were not particularly involved in their community or attached to it. By contrast the located residents shared a stronger sense of community reinforced by lifelong friendships and extended families.
Sheffield Hallam University is a major force for expertise on social and economic issues in the UK Our expertise in social issues, regeneration and how society treats and looks after all types of people, makes a difference.
Suzanne Lightfoot | alfa
Internet use in class tied to lower test scores
16.12.2016 | Michigan State University
Geographers provide new insight into commuter megaregions of the US
01.12.2016 | Dartmouth College
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
18.01.2017 | Information Technology
18.01.2017 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation