HomeHousing and inequalities

Housing and inequalities

Logement et inégalités

Vivienda y desigualdades

Espaces et sociétés

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Published on Friday, October 16, 2015 by Céline Guilleux


In a general context of growing social inequalities, this issue reviews the role that housing plays in the system of inequalities, on the one hand, and in the multiple variations of housing inequalities, on the other. Faced with growing tensions in the housing market, we seek contributions that capture the changes at work in a field well-trodden by urban studies. Produced by class domination, racism and gender, how are today's inequalities intersect in analyses of access and housing conditions? How are inequalities produced in housing, who are the actors, what is the role of public policy? Beside typical situations, we encourage contributors to provide analyses of minority forms of housing as "social fact park" or de facto social housing in the private sector and existing housing stock and via third parties. Finally, this Call for Papers asks what are the consequences of housing inequality on the (re)production of inequality, and the changing classificatory function of housing.



Housing is a deeply political subject. This call for papers begins from the idea that this political issue is directly related to the significance of social inequalities in housing, whether it is a matter of asymmetrical relationships between landlord and tenant or the multiple dimensions of inequalities in access to and conditions of housing (comfort level, tenure status, housing costs related to income, prestige of locations, etc.).

For the last fifteen years, real estate price increases, combined with the context of crisis and economic restructuring, contributed to increased tensions in rental markets, both private and public, and in terms of access to home ownership [in France]. By weakening households and their capabilities to implement a project for shelter on their own, including "middle class" households for which the housing issue was far less tense; by making a growing share of the population dependent on social housing, even as social housing is increasingly congested; by finally immiserating more insecure households, the open environment in the early 2000s undoubtedly accentuated the inequalities already present and helped to produce new ones. If Housing Research is a well marked area of urban studies, it nevertheless requires regular refreshing in order to seize the changes at work and their local versions. What are the issues that have emerged in recent years, in what types of spaces, for which renewed reading of the dialectic of housing and inequality?

This section intends to take stock of both the role that housing plays in the system of inequality and the multiple variations of inequalities in housing. To class inequalities, we need to make clear the contours of a context where more and more people consider themselves failures in their residential trajectories, and indeed to add others: not only those related to type, with the increase in single-parent families, mostly composed of mothers, which are also known to be the most affected by various forms of precarious employment, but also racial discriminations suffered a large number of young people of immigrant descent that complicate, even when they do not prevent, access to independent housing. Even more fundamentally, it is the place of accommodation in the definition of social position and identity that is in question.

This call specifically solicits articles to renew the issue of housing inequality via the prism of intersectionality.  We therefore call for contributions articulating class domination, sex, age and 'race' [1] in the analysis of inequalities of access and housing conditions. What recompositions enter into this articulation and how do these combinations they vary by geographic context? Is the distribution of gender roles in domestic space a function of social class, age or position in "race" relations? How are these mechanisms observed in social housing or home ownership, high-density or detached housing? In analyzing these plural inequalities, what place do minority forms of housing take, such as "de facto social housing" or slums or accommodation with others?

The proposals will also cover the production process of housing inequalities. Which actors, private and public, individual and collective, contribute? What mechanisms in the property market and property are at work? What public policies have been instrumental in recent years? How can we think emerging issues of access to public (and private) energy serv ices? More broadly, in terms of social inequality, what are the effects of policies in the name of the sustainable city or ecological housing?

Finally, analyzes of the impact of housing inequalities on the (re) production of social inequality seem necessary at a time when decommissioning is an acute question. What place do residential trajectories occupy in the feeling of downgrading [or downward mobility]? This decommissioning "objective", and how can it be measured?  Does it match the evolution of occupied dwelling codes, their size, and location? In social and economic situations marked by uncertainty, how do households arbitrate between the various imperatives of cost, area, prestige, access between which they must make a "choice" when making residential decisions?  Do households expect that housing positions them socially, and conversely by what process does housing downgrade affect life trajectories? Can households compensate for weakened positions on other indicators such as labour? In other words, are they able to maintain their social position?  Attention to territorial differentiation will be particularly appreciated for this theme: the same capital can provide access to extremely varied properties depending on the local real estate context. What are theconsequences for the classificatory functions of housing?

Coordination of the issue

  • Florence Bouillon,
  • Anne Clerval,
  • Stéphanie Vermeersch

Submission guidelines

  • 1st april 2016: Deadline for submitting articles

  • 15 June 2016: Information to authors

Address for correspondence exclusively by email to the following three addresses:

  • florence.bouillon@gmail.com
  • anne.clerval@univ-paris-est.fr
  • stephanie.vermeersch@u-paris10.fr

Authors who are wondering about the relevance of their proposals may contact the coordinators


The magazine does not request proposals for articles, but submissions of articles directly

articles may not exceed 42 000 characters (including spaces) including: text, notes, bibliographic references, appendices, but excluding summaries.

Submission information is included in each number.

The standards of presentation and the advice to authors are available on the website of the journal

The journal reminds authors that they may submit, at any time, an article outside of the theme, if it concerns the relation between spaces, territories and populations in the broad sense and it complies with the standards of publication; in case of acceptance, these articles are published rapidly.


  • Friday, April 01, 2016


  • accès, condition, logement, inégalité, intersectionnalité, reproduction sociale, politique publique


  • Joëlle Jacquin
    courriel : Espacesetsocietes [at] msh-paris [dot] fr

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Joëlle Jacquin
    courriel : Espacesetsocietes [at] msh-paris [dot] fr

To cite this announcement

« Housing and inequalities », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Friday, October 16, 2015, https://calenda.org/342569

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