Housing and Citizenship: From Discrimination to Recognition.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 17:45
Oral Presentation
Taísa SANCHES, Pontifical Catholic University Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
What is the difference between living in a place and feeling recognized there? How does this affect people's social relations? How does this affect their access to rights? These fundamental questions mark the lives of those who on a daily basis must deal with issues of recognition within the urban environment. The aim of this paper is to analyse how individual trajectories involving access to housing affect the way in which they recognize themselves as citizens and how they decide to get involved into political activism regarding housing.

Using Dubet’s (2013) work on discrimination I will attempt to understand how the lack of access to housing can be understood as a form of injustice and what this means for individuals who undergo such deprivation in everyday life. To develop an understanding of the ways in which individuals respond to spatial inequalities and discrimination against their neighbourhoods is to demonstrate how space is vital for struggles for recognition. Place in this sense is important not merely in terms of the idea of home, but as a space for bringing social conflicts out into the open.

The experiences of the individuals who suffer different types of discrimination are the focus of Dubet’s (2013) work. The author explores experiences that people who suffer discrimination share, such as indifference, banalisation and dissociation. Regarding the experience on dissociation, the author argues that discrimination has an impact on people's reflexivity: self-understanding and self-recognition become difficult in the face of the different kinds of injustice that are a part of everyday life. The aim of this work is to discuss the validity of this argument, using Honneth’s (2003) work on recognition as a contrast, considering that discrimination regarding housing sometimes lead to involvement into activism.