Search Swinburne Research Bank
This object has not yet been indexed by the background indexing service.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/149849
|Download 01front.pdf (Adobe Acrobat PDF, -1 bytes)|
|Download 02whole.pdf (Adobe Acrobat PDF, -1 bytes)|
- Downshifter families' housing and homes: an exploration of lifestyle choice and housing experience
- Stone, Wendy
- 'Downshifting' describes the phenomenon of people in the contemporary western world who voluntarily reduce their income and consumption to improve their life quality. It is estimated that around a quarter of Australians of working age have voluntarily reduced their incomes and spending (other than retirement). Family life is identified as a primary motivator for downshifting, yet just what this means is still to be explored. As well, reduced income associated with downshifting is likely to have significant implications for the capacity of households to negotiate an unequal housing system and for experiences of both housing and home. However, relationships between downshifting, housing and home also remain unexplored. This research seeks to address these key knowledge gaps. Drawing downshifting, family life and housing experience together, it asks: how does downshifting, understood as a way of living or ‘lifestyle’, relate to the housing experiences and meaning of home of families with dependent children who have downshifted? The downshifting and family values and priorities, the lived housing experiences and circumstances and the influences and practices which ‘make’ downshifter family homes meaningful, among 25 families interviewed across metropolitan and rural Victoria for this research, form the foci of analysis in this interpretive, qualitative study. Findings indicate that despite differences in the extent to which downshifter families are alternative, their financial wealth or residential location, common to all is a desire for a high level of control over the way their lives are lived, coupled with ‘time over money’ values, in many cases motivated by a prioritisation of family life. The implications of this for housing experience and the meaning of home are diverse and, in many cases, substantial. While home ownership remains a preferred tenure among this population, downshifter families’ housing pathways and circumstances vary in the extent to which they enable control and facilitate security. Relationships – between family, with the community, and with the environment – are found to be fundamentally important to the ways downshifter families ‘make’ their homes meaningful. The findings of this research further our understanding of the downshifting phenomenon, they draw attention to the importance of housing to work life policy discourse and they contribute to our understandings of the relationship between lifestyle choice and housing experience within the sociology of housing literature. They lend support to the argument that, within late modernity, housing and home form an important medium for lifestyle choice.
- Publication type
- Thesis (PhD)
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology. Faculty of Life and Social Sciences
- Publication year
- Australasian Digital Theses collection
- Copyright © 2010 Wendy Michelle Stone.