Dissertation Abstracts

Working the Market: A Study of Real Estate Agents Role and Practices in a Local Residential Market

Author: Eliza Benites-Gambirazio, benites.eliza@gmail.com
Department: Sociology
University: University of Paris III and University of Arizona, United States
Supervisor: Franck Poupeau and Jane Zavisca
Year of completion: In progress
Language of dissertation: English

Keywords: market , real estate , housing , inequalities
Areas of Research: Economy and Society , Stratification , Housing and Built Environment


This dissertation examines the work of real estate professionals on the housing market and highlights how their professional activities contribute to influence transaction outcomes such as pricing, product and neighborhood preferences, affecting market shape and functioning. Based on 2 years of ethnographic observations in a school of real estate and two real estate companies and seventy interviews with real estate agents, the study explores the formal and informal socialization of agents through a set of norms and rules to behave as market professionals; the use of social relationships to profit-making ends; and the participation of agents in the process of creating symbolic and market value by influencing preferences and prices, generating important implications for social and racial segregation. At the intersection of cultural, urban and economic sociology, this work sheds light on the dynamics of a market with intermediaries to refine our understanding of housing inequalities.