Rational fictions and imaginary systems: cynical ideology and the problem figuration and practise of public housing

Joseph Crawford, John Flint

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This paper aims to show how Van Wel’s theory of problem figuration, Carlen’s concept of imaginary systems and Zizek’s notion of cynical ideology may advance our theoretical and empirical understanding of the contemporary construction of housing policy narratives and embedded localised housing practise. Applying this theoretical framework to a case study of responses to homelessness in Scotland and further illustrative examples from the UK and the USA, the paper examines how housing practise is constituted through different imaginaries of housing systems. These are based on fictional as well as rational elements, located within a form of cynical ideology whereby actors act ‘as if’ the realities of the present housing crisis are distanced from the imagined intended functioning of housing systems. This masks alternative social realities and denies an explicitly articulated politics of housing which would reveal new processes of capitalism, generational and class realignments and a reframing of the role of government itself.


    Original languageEnglish
    JournalHousing Studies
    VolumeIn press
    Early online date10 Mar 2015
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Keywords

    • Cynical ideology
    • Housing policy
    • Imaginary housing systems
    • Problem figuration
    • Housing practise
    • Public housing

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