Trajectories of middle-class belonging: The dynamics of place attachment and classed identities

Benson, Michaela. 2014. Trajectories of middle-class belonging: The dynamics of place attachment and classed identities. Urban Studies, 51(14), pp. 3097-3112. ISSN 0042-0980 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This paper examines the processes by which middle-class belonging is generated, through the exploration of social and spatial trajectories in narratives of residential choice and mobility. It is based on an understanding of residential choice as indicative and constitutive of social mobilities. In particular the paper builds on the discussion of the match between habitus and field that lies at the root of the notions of middle-class belonging and place attachments to draw attention not only to the conditions under which ‘fit’ is possible, but also acknowledge that belonging is a dynamic process, generated and maintained through residence that feeds back into understandings of classed identities. This paper argues that residential space is not just appropriated to reflect pre-existing tastes and lifestyles, but may also contribute in the transformation of habitus to fit to particular neighbourhoods and ways of living.

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This research was funded by ESRC grant No: RES-062-33-0002


London, middle classes, processes of belonging, residential choice, residential trajectories

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8 January 2014Published Online
1 November 2014Published

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Date Deposited:

29 Sep 2014 16:04

Last Modified:

09 Jun 2021 14:50

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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