Shared Housing, Shared Lives: Everyday Experiences Across the Lifecourse, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Shared Housing, Shared Lives

Everyday Experiences Across the Lifecourse, 1st Edition

By Sue Heath, Katherine Davies, Gemma Edwards, Rachael Scicluna


144 pages | 8 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9780367350499
pub: 2019-07-31
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Hardback: 9781138673533
pub: 2017-10-30
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315561882
pub: 2017-10-25
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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

Table of Contents

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

7. Conclusion

Appendix 1: Pen portraits of research participants



About the Authors

Sue Heath is Professor of Sociology and Co-Director of the Morgan Centre for Research into Everyday Lives, University of Manchester, UK

Katherine Davies is Lecturer in Sociology at The University of Sheffield, UK

Gemma Edwards is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Manchester, UK

Rachael M Scicluna is a Lecturer in the School of Anthropology and Conservation at the University of Kent, UK

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Sociology

This series presents cutting-edge developments and debates within the field of sociology. It provides a broad range of case studies and the latest theoretical perspectives, while covering a variety of topics, theories and issues from around the world. It is not confined to any particular school of thought.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General