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Housing Tenure and Social Cleavages in Urban Canada

Geraldine Pratt
Annals of the Association of American Geographers
Vol. 76, No. 3 (Sep., 1986), pp. 366-380
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2562586
Page Count: 15
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Housing Tenure and Social Cleavages in Urban Canada
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Abstract

The economic and political impact of housing tenure divisions is assessed in the Canadian context. The way that position in the housing market interacts with position in the production process is a particular focus of the article. The analysis uses two data sources: an urban national sample of 1,941 interviews collected in 1979 and in-depth interviews carried out in 1983 with 100 homeowners and renters living in an outer suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia. The results show that homeownership offers access to capital gains across all classes of homeowners: there is no interaction between position in the housing market and class position in terms of the economic significance of homeownership. There is, however, an important interaction among class, housing tenure, and political attitudes. Associations between political attitudes and housing tenure occur more frequently among those in skilled nonmanual and lower-level managerial positions than among those in manual occupations. Levels of union membership provide a partial explanation for this interaction. Finally, the documented links between housing tenure and political orientation have important implications for the economic distinctions between homeowners and renters.

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