The Ideology of Home Ownership: Homeowner Societies and the by Richard Ronald (auth.)

By Richard Ronald (auth.)

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Underlying these assertions are a range of assumptions concerning the nature of ideology and the system of values and beliefs surrounding home ownership. Discussions concerning growing levels of owner-occupation have been dominated by what Gurney (1999b, p. 163) refers to as pull-versus-push explanations. These explanations either emphasize the natural basis of the pull towards owner-occupation or the push of socio-ideological forces into private tenure. In terms of understanding the role of ideology, these approaches can be crudely separated into neutral and critical ideological conceptions (Thompson, 1984).

18 The Ideology of Home Ownership divisions were increasingly influential in determining life chances and, on the other, approaches that maintained that traditional social class relations were fundamental to patterns of social inequity and subjugation, where housing simply reinforces these divisions at an ideological level. Arguably, the work of Rex and Moore (1967) marked a key change in the consideration of housing tenure, and in particular the relationship between housing and broader socio-structural issues.

This means that individuals are now engaged (morally by society, functionally by the social system) first and foremost as consumers rather than producers. … The crucial task of soliciting behaviour functionally indispensable for the capitalist economic system, and at the same time harmless to the capitalist political system, may now be entrusted onto the consumer market and its unquestionable attractions. Reproduction of the capitalist system is therefore achieved through individual freedom (in the form of consumer freedom to be precise).

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