Change, loss and community : resident narratives of life on a social housing estate

Blezard, E 2021, Change, loss and community : resident narratives of life on a social housing estate , DProf thesis, University of Salford.

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This thesis explores the value and meaning of community for residents on a regenerated social housing estate in the North-West of England. ‘Community’ has continuing relevance in academic inquiry and application within social policy. It is frequently portrayed as a lost idyll that can be retrieved to counteract social decline; thus, an important means of examining social change. I contend that community is an interpretative concept; consequently, objective policy constructions of community should be challenged and explored. I further argue that social policy directed towards social housing communities has become detached from the resident experience. Therefore, this research will contribute to knowledge that seeks to understand social housing communities from a resident perspective. Fourteen semi-structured interviews have been undertaken with a purposive sample of ten residents on a social housing estate in the North of England. The interviews were transcribed and analysed through a thematic, narrative approach. The research found that community is frequently constructed through social and community places, to which residents ascribe value and importance. These places were vital for facilitating supportive social networks and central to resident power, autonomy, and ownership. The loss of community spaces was seen as contributing to a rise in anti-social behaviour and a decline in social interaction. Subsequently, residents became unable to construct belonging to where they live, affecting their well-being and ability to feel at ‘home.’ The findings highlight the exclusion of residents from dialogues about their own homes as a consequence of entrenched meta-narratives about social housing and community. This study provides a counter-narrative that contributes to a growing body of research that prioritises the resident voice and challenges ineffective social policy.

Item Type: Thesis (DProf)
Contributors: Clark, AP (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment
Depositing User: Dr E Blezard
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2022 15:56
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2022 10:04

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