Privileging the ‘objective’: understanding the state’s role in shaping housing aspirations

Joseph Crawford, Kim McKee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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This paper is to be read as one half of a two-fold analysis of recent qualitative research on the housing aspirations of the people of Scotland, focusing specifically on the dimension of housing tenure. Moving beyond individual subjective preferences (i.e. what people ‘consciously’ want or desire in relation to housing), this paper draws influence from David Harvey’s historical materialist approach to illustrate the importance of understanding the dialectical relation between objective reality and subjective preferences. We argue that it is by examining the broad homologies between the qualitative data on one hand, and the corresponding epochs of capital accumulation on the other, that important power structures can be made visible, and changes in housing aspirations over time better understood.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-114
Number of pages20
JournalHousing, Theory and Society
Issue number1
Early online date20 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2018


  • Housing aspirations
  • Capitalism
  • State
  • Housing tenure
  • Historical materialism


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