News & Press: Calls for Papers

Unreal Estate? Rethinking Housing, Class, and Identity

Thursday, October 27, 2016  
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This is a call for papers for a session at the June 2017 conference of the RC43 Housing and Built Environment section of the International Sociological Association (geographers, planners, urban studies, etc. all welcome). The conference theme is "Unreal Estate? Rethinking Housing, Class, and Identity" and it will be held June 18-21 in Hong Kong. Please consider submitting an abstract, and circulate to relevant colleague. Shareable CFP link:

Reconstructing the real estate-finance link: Housing financialization after the crisis

The treatment of housing as a financial asset helped create the conditions for the 2007-2008 global financial crisis. Yet everywhere the crisis was felt most strongly, restoring the link between finance and the built environment has been integral to recovery strategies. While the process of financialization is ongoing, it has also changed: today rental housing is an important new financial asset class, with some of the world’s largest private equity firms buying up and renting out repossessed properties and rolling out novel rent-backed financial instruments. This shift is rooted in broader social, economic, and political conditions taking shape since 2008, including: pressure for state and financial institutions to dispose of large amounts of distressed assets; increased rental demand as former homeowners become tenants and young people contend with greater indebtedness and diminished economic opportunities; and tighter lending standards. But we must recall that financialization is neither given nor monolithic; rather this process is always incomplete, a work in progress that can fail, break apart, and be contested. This session invites papers that shed light on the dynamics of post-crisis housing financialization, welcoming a range of topics including but not limited to:

  • How the link between housing and finance is being reconstructed in specific urban and/or national contexts since 2008 (including comparative perspectives)
  • The socio-spatial impacts of post-crisis housing financialization
  • Rental housing as a new financial asset class and tenants as ‘financial subjects’
  • How social movements seek to contest or interrupt financialization, including through alternative relationships to land and housing and movements for expanded renters rights
  • Historical or contemporary counter-examples highlighting progressive possibilities toward de-financialization

Please send abstracts (300 words maximum) and your name, affiliation, and title to Desiree Fields at by 20th December 2016.


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