Households? (and current chapter ideas)

I still have not made it to the library to start on the list of books I would like to look at on crime prevention through urban design. Partly this is because the weather has been drizzly but also I have been finding enough ‘I’ll just do this before I go’ tasks to keep me at my desk at home since Tuesday morning. My motivation levels have dropped off, but I think it is okay that I am reading things a bit more slowly and thinking about a possible chapter outline. I have a very selective memory, so I think the only thing to do is to start taking notes under chapter headings as early as possible. If I am lucky, I will end up with interesting enough data for all my plans to be thrown out the window. However, I am not going to count on this. If I can work out what counts as ‘current work’ now then I should be able to take more useful notes and maybe save some time and stress on the other side.

There are some subheadings that I am quite interested in such as

– Investment (things don’t just miraculously happen)

– The significance of models in/for shaping, taking and understanding action

  • Moral selving (Allahyari or Foucault’s technologies of the self)
  • Swidler’s ‘Talk of love’
  • Urban policy and VCAT decisions (Dovey, Woodcock and Wood (2009) on Fitzroy)

– Attention being paid to practice

  • Practice theory
  • ‘more than representational’: ‘open encounters in the realm of practice that matter most’- Hayden Lorimer (2005)
  • Practice near research

Then there are some subheadings that just make my eyes glaze over

  • Capital- social capital, cultural capital and political economy
  • Community and cohesion

It is not that the ideas are boring, just in these areas there is SO much that has been written.

I wonder, should add ‘households’ to this list?

Reasons for…

  • If I am primarily interested in residents in an area then the category of ‘household’ is going to of course have something to do with the area.
  • Census data is collected by households.
  • We are used to answering certain questions about households in every day conversation.
  • The access to the ‘house’ part of a household is quite a political issue at the moment in Melbourne (debate about population growth, debate around who should be allowed to buy houses (i.e. federal government reversing laws around foreign ownership), interest rates, first home buyers grants, the centrality of home ownership to notions of success, funding for social housing, recent changes in seg 1 eligibility, push for self-contained accommodation in rooming houses, reducing the number of tenants to classify a premises as a rooming house).
  • The term captures something of a connection between the material, the social and identity.
  • The self-sufficiency movement.
  • Centrelink has a criteria for determining if co-habitating people are a ‘couple’ (which can now include same-sex couples).
  • Rates are paid on the basis of property ownership, not residing in an area.

Problems with using the concept of ‘household’

  • Ethics committee?
  • Am I going to open up too much the range of government policies that I will have to consider, thereby moving away from my interest in the dominance of a place based agenda?


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