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In this blog, the first of a series to come from our digital methods workshop, we attempt to highlight how developments in digital methods offer new opportunities for social science, and research on household sustainability in particular. We believe that many social scientists are unfamiliar with developments in digital methods and hope to encourage greater appreciation of them. Indeed, we conclude our piece with some reasons why social scientists should engage with debates around digital methods and consider using them. Before doing so, we provide some background about what digital methods are and how they have evolved.

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A review of recent publications which, critical of the ways faith based organisations engage with the provision of homeless services, advocate the adoption of a liberation theology approach which argues that individual charity is not enough and that effective interventions require the development of social movements which challenge the systemic causes of homelessness.(In press)

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A policy paper by Darja Reuschke and Duncan Maclennan which summarises a seminar on Business Investment and Housing which was jointly organised by CHR and the Scottish Government. This seminar was part of a research project about the consequences of the mortgage crisis on small businesses.

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The post-communist privatisation of state flats to sitting tenants has transformed Romania into a nation of homeowners; yet its popularity appears perplexing given the poor quality of the stock and disappointing, given flat-owners’ subsequent lack of action regarding home improvement. Conversely, self-builders’ proactive agency moved them up the housing ladder. While this striking contrast draws attention to various structural conditions, which have constrained the former and enabled the latter, it also raises intriguing questions on residents’ meanings of home. By interrogating 48 homeowners’ narratives, this paper sustains the multilayered and multi-scalar meanings of home, which intertwine the socio-cultural territory of family and nation; the physical frame of one room or several dwellings; the emotional domain of object-memories; and the ontological realm epitomised by something as minimal as ‘my bed’. Findings demonstrate that flat-owners and self-builders do not significantly differ in their meanings of home but detached houses rather than flats facilitate more fully their appropriation.

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In this paper, we document the experience of Moroccan emigration from Spain as a result of the bursting of the property bubble and the country’s long recession. Although Moroccans remain one of the largest non-European immigrant groups in Spain different forms of emigration such as return migration or remigration to third countries have become more prominent since the onset of the economic recession. In order to describe recent trends of international migration we use flow and stock data from the National Statistical Office for the period 2008-2011 with age-sex detail and information on the main destination countries and provinces of departure. The paper concludes with some considerations on the impact of Spain´s ongoing economic recession on the future of Moroccan migration within the European context.

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Housing market activity and firm formation are both positively correlated with the business cycle, and the levels of mortgage lending to business owners and funding of small firms have fallen in the UK since 2008. This paper explores a neglected, causal linkage between housing assets and small business investment and the economy and, in particular, draws attention to the recent reduction in small business investment consequent to a reduced capacity of entrepreneurs to withdraw or leverage housing equity.

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This chapter focuses on the changing patterns of housing and settlement by successive immigrations to north western Europe in the post second world war era. The influence of the shifting policies of successive western governments in the context of (often uneven) changing economic, political, cultural and social contexts in determining immigrant welfare and housing outcomes are evaluated.

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Through a focus on “consumer-citizenship” this paper foregrounds the class practices inherent in urban regeneration. Using Glasgow's 2014 Commonwealth Games (CWGs) as an illustrative example of regeneration, it seeks to highlight the market-led processes that underpin state interventions. The paper demonstrates how these processes are implemented to transform “problem people, and problem places” (Damer 1989, From Moorepark to “Wine Alley”) into sites of “active” consumption and “responsible” citizenship. Yet, access to this “consumer citizenship” is stratified. In doing so, we synthesise conceptual insights from the Marxist-influenced gentrification literature and the Foucauldian-inspired housing renewal literature. We forward this to initiate further academic debate and empirical enquiry on the specific issue of mega sporting events.

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[Maclennan, D., Parr, J.B. (1979) Regional Policy: Past Experience and New Directions. Martin Robertson, London.]


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