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Housing wealth and accumulation: Home ownership experiences of African Caribbean families migrating to Birmingham and London in the period 1950-1970

Joseph, Ricky (2007)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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The housing wealth experiences of ethnic minority home owners is relatively unexplored within the UK literature. This thesis makes a contribution to this field by exploring the experiences of African Caribbean post war families. There are a number of original points of departure to this literature that this study makes. Links are made with Caribbean migration and social anthropology literatures in developing fresh perspectives on the study of housing wealth among this group. The study avoids treating housing wealth in isolation from other networks within African Caribbean communities. Instead it develops a single asset network that positions housing wealth within a broader resource framework used to interpret home ownership careers and return migration planning. The study incorporates literature drawn from cultural consumption theory in exploring values and meanings attached to inheritances in the UK and Caribbean. An original methodological contribution is made in the use of life history methods in exploring consumption and transmission of housing wealth across two generations of the same family. The 13 families included in the study are drawn from Birmingham and London. The findings suggest that there is a complex interaction of networks used throughout home ownership careers. Informal financial networks in the form of intergenerational exchanges are used in supporting younger family members at the start of home ownership careers. There is evidence that inheritance of ‘family land’ in the Caribbean provided a focus for the investment of UK housing wealth to facilitate return migration. Other forms of housing wealth leakage took place, with evidence of investments in second homes in the Caribbean, kinship networks and entrepreneurial activity. This investment of UK housing assets in second homes across the Caribbean region suggests the creation of ‘transnational housing markets’.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Public Policy
Department:Centre for Urban and Regional Studies
Keywords:Housing wealth, African Caribbean, home ownership, return migration
Subjects:HT Communities. Classes. Races
HC Economic History and Conditions
JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
HM Sociology
Institution:University of Birmingham
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:39
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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