Spatial reproduction of inequality in Stockholm’s large housing estates, 1990-2014

Authors: Kati Kadarik*, Institute for Housing and Urban Research, Uppsala University
Topics: Urban Geography, Population Geography, Ethnicity and Race
Keywords: neighbourhood trajectories, life course, inequality transmission, ethnicity, Sweden
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 2:40 PM / 4:20 PM
Room: Grand Chenier, Sheraton, 5th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Research has shown that spatial inequalities persist over generations – there is continuity in individual neighborhood histories throughout life-course and even across generations. Socioeconomic composition of the neighborhood children live in is correlated to the status of the neighborhoods they live in later in life. Some researchers argue housing plays a central role in the intergenerational transmission of inequality. Moreover, the spatial dimension of transmission of inequality has been increasingly emphasized by geographers. Sweden provides an interesting case study from which to explore this phenomenon. Sweden is known for having relatively high intergenerational mobility. Yet there is evidence of increasing social polarization, especially in housing. Large housing estates have become shorthand for discussing a range of housing and socioeconomic problems. During the last quarter century these estates have shown increasing signs of stigmatization and social exclusion. This paper examines the links between growing up in a large housing estate and an individual’s residential neighborhood in adulthood. It employs individual annual Swedish registry data (1990-2014) to examine variations in transmission of inequalities within three cohorts residing in large housing estates during late childhood. Do disadvantages connected to parental home transmit to their residential neighborhood in young adulthood? Examining these different cohorts will shed light on how intergenerational transmission of inequality has changed over time in Sweden.

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