Home means something to everyone. More than just bricks and mortar, it’s about security and belonging, citizenship and exclusion. Michaela Benson has researched it all: from the UK’s self-build communities, to people seeking a new lifestyle abroad. She tells Alexis and Rosie about this and her own experience of home, including her mother’s relationship to her place of birth: Hong Kong.
Plus, Kwame Lowe and Alice Grahame introduce us to the Rural Urban Synthesis Society in London. What does it take to build your own “Grand Design” and why would anyone want to do that? What happens when areas become known as “problem places” and what’s gentrification got to do with it? And who is to blame for the housing crisis?
Uncommon Sense sees our world afresh, through the eyes of sociologists. Brought to you by The Sociological Review, it’s a space for questioning taken-for-granted ideas about society – for imagining better ways of living together and confronting our shared crises. Hosted by Rosie Hancock in Sydney and Alexis Hieu Truong in Ottawa, featuring a different guest each month, Uncommon Sense insists that sociology is for everyone.
Guests: Michaela Benson, Kwame Lowe, Alice Grahame
Hosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu Truong
Executive Producer: Alice Bloch
Sound Engineer: David Crackles
Music: Joe Gardner
Artwork: Erin Aniker
Special thanks to: Kirsteen Paton, Lisa Dikomitis, RUSS
Michaela, Rosie and Alexis recommend:
- “Fragile Monsters” (2021) by Catherine Menon
- “Unsheltered” (2018) by Barbara Kingsolver
- “Foundation” (1942) by Isaac Asimov
From The Sociological Review:
- “Unhomely Homes: A visual study of Airbnb” (2020) by Kenneth Kajoranta and Anna Pechurina
- On older New Zealanders and the role of home for feeling secure in an uncertain world (1998) by Ann Dupuis and David Thorns
- A critical review of the existing literature on “home” (2004) by Shelley Mallett
- On being middle-class in contemporary London (2017) by Michaela Benson and Emma Jackson
- On Brexit’s hidden costs for Britons living in the EU (2021) by Michaela Benson
- The Rural Urban Synthesis Society (RUSS) Lewisham, London
- “Gentrification: A Working-Class Perspective” (2014) by Kirsteen Paton
- “Your Life Chances Affect Where You Live: A Critique of the ‘Cottage Industry’ of Neighbourhood Effects Research” (2013) by Tom Slater
- “Cyprus and Its Places of Desire: Cultures of Displacement Among Greek and Turkish Cypriot Refugees” (2012) edited by Lisa Dikomitis
- “Walters Way and Segal Close: The Architect Walter Segal and London’s Self-Build Community” (2017) by Alice Grahame
- The film “Minari” (2020) directed by Lee Isaac Chung
- Chris Leslie’s work on demolition and regeneration in Glasgow
Read our acknowledgement of the indigenous lands that both Rosie and Alexis work upon.
Find more at The Sociological Review.