My home, my castle : meanings of home ownership in multigenerational housing


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Year of publication 2021
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Housing Studies
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Keywords Multigenerational housing; home ownership; control; reciprocity; mutual dependency
Description Multigenerational housing is an arena of negotiation of familial, intergenerational, and interpersonal relationships. This article analyses these relations while focusing on the issue of home ownership. Drawing upon interviews with three generations living under the same roof, the article aims to understand the meanings of ownership and the ways ownership shapes the relationships between cohabiting family members. We show that ownership plays an ambivalent role: on the one hand it may act to legitimise and (re)produce uneven power relations between family members, while on the other it mirrors or even supports mutual dependency and altruistic intergenerational and caring relations. To illuminate these issues, we structure our debate around three key topics: 1. ownership and the legitimisation of a dominant position, 2. ownership as a burden and a source of (in)security and interdependence, and 3. ownership as a commitment to care for the former owners. We interpret these aspects in the context of particular family genealogies and their housing histories.
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