ISA World Congress of Sociology, Yokohama, Japan, July 2014

Research Committee on
Housing and Built Environment, RC43

RC43 main page

Program Coordinator

Number of allocated sessions including Business Meeting: 10.


Planned sessions and dates/time subject to further changes

in alphabetical order:


Thursday, July 17, 2014: 08:30 AM - 10:20 AM

Home-Making Practices and the Domestic Spaces of Migrant and Ethnic Minorities

Session Organizers
Paolo BOCCAGNI, University of Trento, Italy,
Andrea Mubi BRIGHENTI, University of Trento, Italy,

Session in English

In this session we focus on the creation and transformation of domestic spaces by migrant and minority groups. We invite contributors to consider a wide set of home-making practices relating to feeling ‘at home’. Ranging from mundane details such as furniture styles and the informal organization of living spaces, to large-scale trends such as the patterns of house ownership by migrant populations, we explore the implications of the everyday construction of domesticity ‘away from home’ and its imaginary signification.

Home-making is a multifaceted enterprise that shapes the meaning of dwelling and unfolds through various processes of spatial appropriation. Whether in search for short-term accommodation to foreign (often, hostile) settings, or in the attempt to symbolically assert migrants’ background and heritage, a veritable set of territory-making activities and adjustments revolves around domestic spaces. But we also urge to investigate how the boundaries between public, community and private spaces are established, affirmed and transformed in the everyday life of migrant and ethnic groups. Some of the questions we are interested in discussing include yet are not limited to the following: How is the decoration of domestic space linked to emotion and nostalgia? How can domestic space be experienced as vehicles of intimacy and sociability or, on the contrary, as estranged, alienated spaces? Which aspects of ‘feeling at home’ can be successfully recalled in the new life spaces abroad? How do the meanings attributed to the idea of home evolve over time and in relations to native populations? How does home-making affect interethnic relations?

We encourage contributions drawing from ethnographies of domestic, community and public spaces in urban multicultural contexts. We are also keen, though, on theoretical reflections about how migrant and ethnic minorities provide insights about contemporary spatiality. We welcome submissions from sociologists and, potentially, a variety of other disciplines - including urban planning, anthropology and human geography.


Thursday, July 17, 2014: 05:30 PM - 07:20 PM

Housing Wealth, Intergenerational Financial Transfers and Family Solidarity

Session Organizer
Christian LENNARTZ, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands,

Session in English

This session will take a new perspective on intergenerational transfers in which the house stands central, including houses as bequests, money transfers for home purchases, patterns of co-residence, and how these shape (inter-) generational inequalities across countries. Papers can deal with the theoretical and/or practical aspects of the house in this process.


Thursday, July 17, 2014: 03:30 PM - 05:20 PM

Housing, Diversity and Identity

Session Organizer
Janet SMITH, University of Illinois, USA,

Session in English

Continuing migration and increasing diversity have very real place-based implications for urban and rural areas. Ethnic and racial groups are marginalized politically and socially, compounding problems for securing housing and also for interpreting the places where these groups settle. Sociology looks at these issues through the lens of the collective or the group, collapsing identity into categories, which limits our ability to understand the experiences of individuals or how, because housing is a scarce resource, these individuals come together in particular places.

Historically, racial and ethnic “enclaves” have been treated as sites of concern – places to study (e.g., “ghettos”) and intervene. Many argue that current sociological frameworks are not adequate for understanding these sites of housing and identity formation, and particularly the hybridity of experience in them. This session will look at these concerns and explore a range of questions such as: How through housing (location, usage, etc.) might different groups form identity, and how can we understand this relationship? How does looking at housing through race / ethnicity shape our understanding of ethnic and racial settlements? How can we document, analyze and theorize the hybridity of experiences in these housing settlements to document the increasing diversity but also types of inequalities.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 05:30 PM - 07:20 PM

Japanese Housing Market in Transition

Session Organizer
Janet SMITH, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA,

Session in English


Thursday, July 17, 2014: 10:30 AM - 12:20 PM

Older People, Housing and the City

Session Organizer
Alan MORRIS, University of New South Wales, Australia,

Session in English

In the contemporary period, there is growing polarisation between households with the resources to choose their housing and lifestyle and those with minimal capacity to control their everyday lives and housing situations. This is particularly significant for older people. A greater proportion is finding themselves in housing and neighbourhood situations which are not conducive to a decent life.

The session will examine the varying circumstances of older people in the city both in terms of housing and neighbourhood.


Thursday, July 17, 2014: 07:30 PM - 08:50 PM

RC43 Business Meeting


Friday, July 18, 2014: 08:30 AM - 10:20 AM

RC43 Roundtable I. Social/Public Housing: What Place Does It Have in Society Today?

Session Organizer
Janet SMITH, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA,

Session in English


Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 03:30 PM - 05:20 PM

Shrinking Cities: Implications for Housing and the Built Environment

Session Organizer
Janet SMITH, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA,

Session in English

Researchers are paying attention to a growing number of cities in developed countries that are shrinking due to deindustrialization and mobility. While many cities in developing countries continue to experience growth, a 2008/09 UN report brought attention to this as a potential issue in cities citing war, civil unrest, disease but also mobility as some people return to rural areas as possible reasons.

While attention from researchers and policy makers have focused on documenting the phenomena and what to do to offset and deal with population loss, relatively little attention has been given to the sociology of these kinds of cities in the current global state in terms of the housing and built environment. How do we study and interpret the relationship between the housing and built environment and who is currently there now and who is likely to be there in the future?


Joint Sessions

Click on the session title to read its description and the scheduled day/time.

RC21RC43 Roundtable IIA. Unequal Cities and the Political Economy of Housing. Part III

Joint session of RC21 Regional and Urban Development and RC43 Housing and Built Environment [host committee]


RC21RC43 Roundtable IIB. Unequal Cities and the Political Economy of Housing. Part II

Joint session of RC21 Regional and Urban Development and RC43 Housing and Built Environment [host committee]



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International Sociological Association
March 2014