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Housing Markets and the Globalisation of Generational Inequalities

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The marketisation of housing and the commodification of the home have been core features of neoliberal social and urban transformations. While the impacts have been highly uneven, in the last decade a more discernable pattern has emerged in a number of contexts that suggest a particularly significant divide is developing between older and younger adult cohorts in regard to housing careers, routes into adulthood and exposure to social and economic risk. In the UK for example, media attention has turned in recent years to the issue of ‘generation rent’ and the problems now faced by younger people in finding a secure home. I argue that this is a more global phenomenon, evident in societies as diverse as Japan, South Korea, Australia and the Netherlands. In each context, I examine how various historical contingencies, institutional legacies and socio-spatial relationships are shaping differentiated but clearly evident manifestations of generational divides in housing markets that have both deep and long-term socioeconomic implications.


Richard Ronald is a Professor at the Centre for Urban Studies at the University of Amsterdam and holds a Chair in Housing and Social Change at the University of Birmingham in the UK. He is the Principal Investigator on the HOUWEL project and was awarded an Independent Researchers Grant by the European Research Council in 2011. Among other functions, Richard is the editor of the International Journal of Housing Policy, coordinator of the Home Ownership and Globalization Working Group of the European Network for Housing Research and convener of the Urban, Regional and Environmental Studies Section of the European Association for Japanese Studies. He has published widely on housing in relation to social, economic and urban transformations in Europe and Pacific Asia including a number of monographs and edited volumes. Richard has held Japan Foundation as well as Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellowships at Kobe University in Japan (2002-2006), and has been a Visiting Professor at Kyung Hee University in Seoul, South Korea (2010-2012). He is originally a graduate of the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University in the UK where he received his Masters in Critical Theory and PhD in Housing and Urban Studies.

This talk is part of the Land Economy Departmental Seminar Series series.

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