chapter  10
17 Pages

Unbounding home ownership in Australia


This chapter explores ruptures and incursions at the boundaries of ‘home ownership’ as currently upheld in dominant Australian discourse and practice, presenting two case studies that challenge normalised assumptions bound up in ‘home ownership’. The chapter’s core argument is that dominant discourses and practices of home ownership in Western societies are the product of the nexus of neoliberalism, individualism, colonialism and JudeoChristianity. That nexus has created a constellation of economic, political, socio-cultural and material behaviours and expectations that confl ate an idea of economic rationality and the search for ontological coherence, despite the frequently contradictory spatial and temporal imperatives of these two. Such contradictions are elided, and much legitimacy secured, through concomitant aesthetic, moral and spiritual registers of affect, such that ‘privately owned’ property as underpinned by globalised systems of debt is normalised to the extent that other arrangements are perceived either as inferior, or not at all. This renders invisible the actual characteristics and opportunities of housing lying ‘outside’ the dominant ownership discourse, as well as the contradictions within it. Therefore, the chapter presents case studies in which ontological coherence has been secured through property title other than ‘ownership’, and where dominant narratives and assumptions of ownership start to unravel.