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Toward a feminist housing commons?: Conceptualising care - (as) - work in collaborative housing

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/10/2023
<mark>Journal</mark>Housing, Theory and Society
Issue number5
Number of pages19
Pages (from-to)660-678
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date22/08/23
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This article conceptualizes care-(as)-work in collaborative housing and addresses current debates on the potential of cohousing to embody a feminist commons. A focus on purpose-built cohousing projects in the UK enables us to focus on the values present in the initial phases of collective design and on the ongoing negotiations and mediation that take place through social interactions, resident-led self-management, and formal and informal mutual support. Our analysis is based on in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with two communities in England. Our contribution focuses on two aspects of care-(as)-work: how difficult emotions related to cohousing maintenance work are minimized for the good of the common and how such work is differentially embodied. Returning to cohousing’s transformational capacities as a feminist commons, we show that while boundaries of care in commoning are critical to residents, they are inherently blurry, performative and gendered.