This thesis aims at understanding the informal access to public housing within the broader context of Neapolitan housing system and investigate the numerous factors underlying the phenomenon. It aims at deepening our understanding about the constraints and the opportunities that shape people’s informal practices and strategies to respond to their housing-related needs, as they navigate the fragmented provision context of local housing welfare system. This thesis investigates the resource management practices that inhabitants put in action to their meet material and immaterial residential needs, the alternative, complex pathway of housing, and the constant tension that each of these individual strategies establishes with the structural forces. As such, the overall objective of this thesis is a small contribution through empirical exploration and verification of hypothesis the actors, mechanisms and meanings that shape the informal occupation of public housing. The formal-informal governance arrangement and, more specifically, the link between housing market rigidity, housing governance, housing stress and informal housing strategies constitute the empirical domain through which this thesis achieves its aim. The public housing complex named ‘Rione De Gasgperi’ (in the De Gasperi neighbourhood), in the eastern part of Naples (southern Italy) is the case study where the theoretical framework is applied for an empirical analysis that informs the theory. The thesis is organized into three academic papers. The first paper profits concepts and analyses found across disciplines that investigate urban informalities in the Global South and navigates through the multifaceted continuum of formality and informality that shape informal ‘inheritance’ system of public housing flats. It analyses informal access to public housing as an endogenous and functional component of the housing field rather than an anomaly or a marginal way of living. The second paper focuses on the usual squatting practices in a public housing building (for example by breaking into the building). It induces a potential definition for the ‘individualistic squatting’ in public housing units by using an analytical comparison with ‘ordinary’ politically-oriented squatting. Individualistic squatting is an expression meaning the act of occupying a building for residential purposes that takes place outside any political framework. This paper aims at detecting the main features that contribute to the emergence of this specific kind of occupation. In order to achieve its aim, the paper is based on profits from the political squatting ‘opportunity structure’ concepts. The third paper further elaborates on ‘housing pathways’ methodological approach of investigation and its conceptualisation of residential mobility as an embedded decision-making process, by framing it to the interplay of material and immaterial dimensions that shape the inhabitants’ housing pathways to squatting. This paper seeks to investigate the potential contribution of ‘housing pathways’ framework into observing the search of house along squatters’ housing pathways as search of home, which does not end when an empty space to squat is found. Finally, a photographic appendix is added in order to disclose the ‘human faces’ beyond the informal occupation of public flats. This appendix is divided into two contributions. The first part is a photographic portrait project aimed at investigating the way the relationship between the De Gasperi district’s squatters and the residential spaces where they squat shape their sense of home. The second part focuses on a religious moment that plays an important role in defining the inhabitants’ sense of belonging to the district. The case study is employed in each paper. The thesis is based on a deep ethnographic work conducted between 2015 and 2018. Collection of primary data consists of both intense observation of external and internal spaces of the neighbourhood and several semi-structured interviews. To this end, during the fieldwork a multi-methods qualitative enquiry was employed. The analytical framework is characterized by an interdisciplinary investigation on: urban and housing informality, housing welfare model, public housing policies, public housing supply regulative system, politically-oriented squatting, housing pathway, and meaning of home. The main results of this thesis refer to: a) contribution to the understanding of the complex nexus between formality and informality within public housing provision by investigating how informal ‘inheritance’ system of public flats takes place in Naples; b) conceptualisation of ‘individualistic squatting’ construct for the investigation of the main features that favour the emergence of self-interested squatting in public housing buildings; c) suggestion of the housing pathway approach as an additional lens to frame housing-related decision-making process for weaker socio-economic groups, bringing on board a conceptualisation of squatting as a stage of a nonlinear and romantic journey during which households try to satisfy their material and immaterial needs related to the dwelling, and d) application of visual ethnography, through employing photographic enquiry, as method of fieldwork research aimed at building a consensual, collaborative and therefore at least potentially, empathetic relationship between research and subject.

From squatted public house to squatted public home: unpacking the informal occupation of public housing in Italy / Esposito, Emiliano. - (2019 Jul 16).

From squatted public house to squatted public home: unpacking the informal occupation of public housing in Italy

ESPOSITO, EMILIANO
2019-07-16

Abstract

This thesis aims at understanding the informal access to public housing within the broader context of Neapolitan housing system and investigate the numerous factors underlying the phenomenon. It aims at deepening our understanding about the constraints and the opportunities that shape people’s informal practices and strategies to respond to their housing-related needs, as they navigate the fragmented provision context of local housing welfare system. This thesis investigates the resource management practices that inhabitants put in action to their meet material and immaterial residential needs, the alternative, complex pathway of housing, and the constant tension that each of these individual strategies establishes with the structural forces. As such, the overall objective of this thesis is a small contribution through empirical exploration and verification of hypothesis the actors, mechanisms and meanings that shape the informal occupation of public housing. The formal-informal governance arrangement and, more specifically, the link between housing market rigidity, housing governance, housing stress and informal housing strategies constitute the empirical domain through which this thesis achieves its aim. The public housing complex named ‘Rione De Gasgperi’ (in the De Gasperi neighbourhood), in the eastern part of Naples (southern Italy) is the case study where the theoretical framework is applied for an empirical analysis that informs the theory. The thesis is organized into three academic papers. The first paper profits concepts and analyses found across disciplines that investigate urban informalities in the Global South and navigates through the multifaceted continuum of formality and informality that shape informal ‘inheritance’ system of public housing flats. It analyses informal access to public housing as an endogenous and functional component of the housing field rather than an anomaly or a marginal way of living. The second paper focuses on the usual squatting practices in a public housing building (for example by breaking into the building). It induces a potential definition for the ‘individualistic squatting’ in public housing units by using an analytical comparison with ‘ordinary’ politically-oriented squatting. Individualistic squatting is an expression meaning the act of occupying a building for residential purposes that takes place outside any political framework. This paper aims at detecting the main features that contribute to the emergence of this specific kind of occupation. In order to achieve its aim, the paper is based on profits from the political squatting ‘opportunity structure’ concepts. The third paper further elaborates on ‘housing pathways’ methodological approach of investigation and its conceptualisation of residential mobility as an embedded decision-making process, by framing it to the interplay of material and immaterial dimensions that shape the inhabitants’ housing pathways to squatting. This paper seeks to investigate the potential contribution of ‘housing pathways’ framework into observing the search of house along squatters’ housing pathways as search of home, which does not end when an empty space to squat is found. Finally, a photographic appendix is added in order to disclose the ‘human faces’ beyond the informal occupation of public flats. This appendix is divided into two contributions. The first part is a photographic portrait project aimed at investigating the way the relationship between the De Gasperi district’s squatters and the residential spaces where they squat shape their sense of home. The second part focuses on a religious moment that plays an important role in defining the inhabitants’ sense of belonging to the district. The case study is employed in each paper. The thesis is based on a deep ethnographic work conducted between 2015 and 2018. Collection of primary data consists of both intense observation of external and internal spaces of the neighbourhood and several semi-structured interviews. To this end, during the fieldwork a multi-methods qualitative enquiry was employed. The analytical framework is characterized by an interdisciplinary investigation on: urban and housing informality, housing welfare model, public housing policies, public housing supply regulative system, politically-oriented squatting, housing pathway, and meaning of home. The main results of this thesis refer to: a) contribution to the understanding of the complex nexus between formality and informality within public housing provision by investigating how informal ‘inheritance’ system of public flats takes place in Naples; b) conceptualisation of ‘individualistic squatting’ construct for the investigation of the main features that favour the emergence of self-interested squatting in public housing buildings; c) suggestion of the housing pathway approach as an additional lens to frame housing-related decision-making process for weaker socio-economic groups, bringing on board a conceptualisation of squatting as a stage of a nonlinear and romantic journey during which households try to satisfy their material and immaterial needs related to the dwelling, and d) application of visual ethnography, through employing photographic enquiry, as method of fieldwork research aimed at building a consensual, collaborative and therefore at least potentially, empathetic relationship between research and subject.
From squatted public house to squatted public home: unpacking the informal occupation of public housing in Italy / Esposito, Emiliano. - (2019 Jul 16).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12571/9901
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