ABSTRACT

The Australian sociologist Hugh Stretton has listed some of the factors which make the home so central to everyday life in modern industrial societies. The privatism thesis would also lead the reader to predict that home ownership would prevent people from going out because it soaks up so much more of their income. Either way, the fact that home ownership enables ontological security does not mean that non-ownership prevents it. In this chapter, the authors have explored the relationship between ownership and the way people experience their homes. The thesis that home ownership may generate ontological security has been subject to some scepticism in recent years, but by identifying series of indicators it was possible to assemble a strong set of evidence to support the thesis. Owners, by contrast, felt free to engage in wide variety of self-provisioning activity in and through their homes, and this was often experienced as way of expressing their identity through uncoerced and non-alienative labour.