Dissertation Abstracts

Housing Structures and Mobility: Beyond Second Homes

Author: del Pino-Artacho, Julio A., jadelpino@poli.uned.es
Department: Sociology I (Theory, Methodology and Social Change)
University: National University for Distance Education (UNED), Spain
Supervisor: Luis Camarero
Year of completion: 2012
Language of dissertation: Spanish

Keywords: second homes , housing , mobility
Areas of Research: Housing and Built Environment , Regional and Urban Development


This investigation deals with second homes (SH) as an archetypal element of the relationship between residence and mobility in contemporary advanced societies. This dissertation argues that the relationship between residence and mobility stem from the paradox, i.e., the apparent contradiction, between the elements of the residence which give fixity and those elements which entail mobility.
The SH, as an object of study, appeared as a residential practice linked to tourism, the escape from the city and class emulation according to the logic of expansion of industrial societies. However, the transformation of society and their corresponding analytic frames, in which mobility plays a key role, allow the inscription of the SH in the field of mobility strategies developed by households.
The first part of the research includes the transformation process from the more static conceptions of social space and residence to the most dynamic, laying the groundwork for further inquiry in SH.
The second part focuses on the transformation that both the interpretive framework and the empirical reality of the SH have experienced in recent decades. In this way, a comprehensive approach to the SH in the age of mobility is presented. This framework entails a shift from second homes to multiple residence. At the macro level, territorial restructuring and mobility based in lifestyles are the global processes that accompany the transition to multilocality. On the micro level, or level of households, the changes lead to self-referential consumption and capitalization processes based on investment. SH is further characterized by being directly linked to the wealth of the households, which give them some autonomy to make decisions around it. Finally, multiple residences appear as a synthesizer of the dialectics between flows and fixities in the era of mobility.
The evidence of these transformations focuses on the empirical analysis of the data on SH in Spain, especially on some reproductive processes. The study aims to relate SH (as a family, residential and mobility strategy) to the processes of territorial restructuring in Spain. In order to achieve this research objective, an analysis of available data on RS in Spain (focused in the Census 2001) has been conducted; specifically, the data was examined to better understand the RS' relationship to household dynamics, the trajectories of spatial mobility, proximity to demand centers and the direction of these movements. The distribution of RS in Spain is broadly characterized by a dual model: coastal developments and the inner SH.
From this overview, the relationship between SH and mobility is observed through three emblematic cases. In relation to the coast, the case of Málaga shows the link between SH and the processes of urbanization, transnational migrations and metropolization. Within the rural inner landscape, given their greater heterogeneity, two cases were examined: Segovia and Zamora. They illustrate well the contrast between dynamic rurality and recessive rurality. The real estate capitalization processes around the capitals and county seats and the situation in remote rural areas is also assessed. For dynamic rurality, SH become a strategy for sustainable development. By contrast, in the more remote areas, SH only represents a survival strategy.