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Political Economy Comes Home: On the Moral Economies of Housing

Alexander, C.; Hojer Bruun, M.; Koch, I.

Political Economy Comes Home: On the Moral Economies of Housing Thumbnail


M. Hojer Bruun

I. Koch


Struggles over housing are one of the most pressing social, economic and political issues of our time. Yet questions over access to, plus the redistribution and maintenance of secure housing have only recently begun to be considered anthropologically. Drawing on E.P. Thompson's concept of moral economy, this special issue addresses these questions and considers how contemporary moral economies of housing play out. Citizens try to make their demands for adequate and safe housing heard, but such aspirations are often undermined by, political rhetoric, state officials, loan terms and the law. People claim allegiances to particular moral communities, thus (re)constituting themselves as deserving of secure tenure and proper homes, often in the face of stigma, laws or policies that construct them as the very reverse. By placing fine-grained ethnographic analysis in conversation with the political economy of housing, we redefine housing as an essentially contested domain where competing understandings of citizenship are constructed, fought over and acted out.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 8, 2017
Online Publication Date Apr 9, 2018
Publication Date Jun 1, 2018
Deposit Date Jun 15, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jun 16, 2017
Journal Critique of Anthropology
Print ISSN 0308-275X
Electronic ISSN 1460-3721
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 38
Issue 2
Pages 121-139
Public URL
Related Public URLs


Accepted Journal Article (385 Kb)

Copyright Statement
Alexander, C., Hojer Bruun, M. and Koch, I. (2018) 'Political economy comes home : on the moral economies of housing.', Critique of anthropology., 38 (2). pp. 121-139. Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications.

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