Drömmen om det egna huset : Från bostadsförsörjning till livsprojekt
Sammanfattning: Swedish housing research has disproportionately concentrated on the study of apartment blocks and on how to create functioning neighbourhoods and neighbourliness, as part of a national housing policy that aimed at building apartment blocks for ordinary families. Yet at the same time, most Swedish families with children have been choosing to live in an owner occupied house. How can this paradox be explainedThe starting point for Swedish housing policy - and therefore for Swedish housing research - has consequently been to foster equality and social justice in and through housing and town planning. In part this has aimed at providing better housing for working class people. But it has also aimed at easing the burden of work in the home, and it has done so by providing rationally planned housing and neighbourhoods, as well as well-developed public transport and other collective facilities. Alva Myrdal was a leading light in working for gender equility and has been an important source of inspiration for this approach to housing and town planning. Yet at the same time as this focus on equality was being pursued there were also strong currents favouring an approach that built on the strengths of gender differences and in particularly a view of women as housewives and home-oriented experts.Yet why have so many families taken the opportunity and chosen to move to an owner occupied house? In order to explain this, the positivistic tradition of housing research is indaquate. It is necessary to turn to the hermeneutic tradition of research on the meaning and significance of housing in a social and cultural context to look for answers.The social and cultural context can in turn be related to developments and issues in modernity. I argue that the continuing appeal of the owner occupied house even when most women are in paid employment needs to be understood against a background of increasing intimisation. This in turn can be seen as a reaction against the built-in tendency towards the development of individualisation. When people become increasingly home-oriented and inward- looking, the home as part of their lives increases in significance. The home in our time has become a free zone and a love project and so the owner occupied house appears to provide a better type of housing than an apartment in a multi-family building. This goes for men as well as women, despite the risk that traditional gender roles in the household can thereby be strengthened.
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