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Social Capital in Housing Management: The Concept as a Tool for Analysing Problems and Formulating Goals for Action
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Urban and Regional Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1523-2587
2007 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

There is no formal social housing sector in Sweden, but municipally owned housing companies have aresponsibility to take on all kinds of tenants. That means that they are often in charge of housing areaswhere many low-income households live, with ensuing social problems. This paper is based upon a studyof management practices in such housing companies. ‘Social Capital’, a concept widely used in thediscussion on how to fight crime and deterioration in socially burdened housing areas, is employed in thetheoretical framework. Here the concept is used as well as describing local social networks as, in particular,‘bridging’ towards the surrounding society.The applied method is case study of the attempts of three housing companies to remedy problems such ashigh crime rate, bad reputation and low demand for housing units in certain areas.The results of the case studies showed that the companies’ different ways of addressing complex problemsinherent in the housing areas were not based upon any definition on how means were related to goals.They were more or less examples of trial and error. Only one of the companies did discuss intentionallyhow they should better the reputation of a certain housing area, by doing a selective physical upgrading ofcommunal spaces and the out-door environment. They were concerned to engage the residents in theprocess.The analysis employed a ‘what if’ - approach regarding the use of ‘Social Capital’ as a tool for thecompanies when analysing and addressing their problems. The discussion concludes in a review of theconcept ‘Social capital’ and some suggestions on how to make it operational in the practice of housingmanagement.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Housing management; Segregation; Social exclusion; Action; Social capital; Trust; Norms; Social control; Social networks
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology) Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-81428OAI: diva2:497455
ENHR 2007 International Conference ‘Sustainable Urban Areas’, Rotterdam, 25-28 June 2007
QC 20120522Available from: 2012-02-10 Created: 2012-02-10 Last updated: 2012-05-22Bibliographically approved

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Werner, Inga Britt
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Urban and Regional Studies
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