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A Field of Contention: Evidence from Housing Struggles in Bucharest and Budapest

Journal article
Authors Ioana Florea
Agnes Gagyi
Kerstin Jacobsson
Published in Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations
Volume 29
Issue 4
Pages 712–724
ISSN 09578765
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Sociology and Work Science
Pages 712–724
Language en
Keywords Field of contention, Housing, Social movement, Urban movement
Subject categories Political Science, Sociology


© 2018 The Author(s) The article offers a study of housing movements in Budapest and Bucharest, with the main focus on the developments since the financial crisis of 2008, stressing the role that both structural and contingent factors play in shaping the dynamics of this “field of contention.” It is argued that a structural view is enlightening for understanding the factors that form the interactive field between activists, such as differences in social positionality as well as ideological conflicts. Moreover, conceiving of a structurally produced field of contention can help explain the differences in housing contention in the two cities. The analysis situates housing movements and their allied, parallel, or opposing actors within the long-term processes of urbanization and global dynamics of commodification, including housing financialization. It demonstrates that to understand how structural and political factors interact in a complex field of contention, attention to processes beyond short-term local movements is necessary.

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