A critical-realist view of housing quality within the post-communist EU states: Progressing towards a middle-range explanation

Adriana Mihaela Soaita*, C.L. Dewilde

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
60 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Employing a long-term perspective, we explore whether ideologically rooted quality outcomes of housing provision under communism have persisted during the post-communist construction of housing markets. Drawing on theories of path-dependent change, we hypothesize that patterns of housing quality still reflect past lines of division, namely the Soviet housing model, and the classical and reformist models of the Eastern Bloc. Using a critical-realist approach to housing quality, we relate households’ experiences to key underlying structures; this ontological depth is then operationalized by means of micro- and macro-indicators used as input for hierarchical cluster analyses. Findings support our main hypothesis, yet there is more diversity in households’ experiences than initially assumed. Our study advances a valuable middle-range epistemological frame for understanding the complex social reality of housing and helps shatter the growing view that communist housing systems were all too similar.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-75
JournalHousing, Theory and Society
Volume36
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • COUNTRIES
  • Cluster analysis
  • DETERMINANTS
  • EASTERN-EUROPE
  • Eastern Europe
  • HOME IMPROVEMENT
  • Housing quality
  • INEQUALITIES
  • MECHANISMS
  • OWNERSHIP
  • Path dependence
  • Post-communism
  • RESTITUTION
  • SOCIALIST
  • WELFARE REGIMES

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