With a growing population, rising housing costs and housing providers struggling to meet demand for affordable accommodation, more and more people in the UK find themselves sharing their living spaces with people from outside of their families at some point in their lives.
Focusing on sharers in a wide variety of contexts and at all stages of the life course, Shared Housing, Shared Lives demonstrates how personal relationships are the key to whether shared living arrangements falter or flourish. Indeed, this book demonstrates how issues such as finances, domestic space and daily routines are all factors which can impact upon personal relationships and wider understandings of the home and privacy.
By directing attention towards people and relationships rather than bricks and mortar, Shared Housing, Shared Lives is essential reading for students and researchers in fields such as sociology, housing studies, social policy, cultural anthropology and demography, as well as for researchers and practitioners working in these areas
Shared Housing, Shared Lives provides important theoretical and ethnographic accounts of shared living arrangements, ranging from the familiar spare-room lodger, and multi-person house-share, to strong ideological commitment to values of collective living. In a climate of austerity, many more people in the UK find themselves sharing their homes and habits with housemates, and the authors of this book invite you to step inside the material spaces and social, sensory proximities of day-to-day sharing. At last, an incisive and nuanced analysis of shared housing.
Dr Helen Jarvis, Reader in Social Geography, Newcastle University, UK
While standard nuclear family households loom large in imaginings of contemporary domestic relations, not least among planners and policy makers, in recent years, sharing a home with strangers has become a more common experience. Across developed societies, supportive links between life-course transitions and ascent up a housing ladder have become increasingly fragile and movement, markedly non-linear, with this pattern exacerbated by recent economic crises. This book represents the most advanced and thorough analysis of the current conditions of sharing households. It builds on a deep contextual knowledge of the rise and conditions of contemporary sharers as well as important empirical insights from English cases.
Professor Richard Ronald, Professor of Housing, Society and Space, Centre for Urban Studies, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1. Introduction: Shared housing in context
2. The challenges of shared living
3. Motivations for shared living
4. The economic and material organisation of shared housing
5. The spatial organisation of shared living
6. Time matters in shared living
Appendix 1: Pen portraits of research participants