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Urban Studies

Housing inequality in cities as a form of social stratification: criteria for distinction of housing classes and strata
Starikova Mariya Mikhailovna

PhD in Sociology

Docent, the department of Culturology, Sociology and Philosophy, Vyatka State University

610000, Russia, Kirovskaya oblast', g. Kirov, ul. Moskovskaya, 36




The object of this work is the phenomenon of housing stratification in modern cities. Considering that the majority of Russian cities have a fairly long history, the housing differentiation within and between the city districts becomes evident. The article substantiated the stratifying function of housing space, which is yet insufficiently studied in the sociological field. The author examines the methodology of sociological research of inequality in housing sphere in the works of Russian and foreign sociologists. The criteria and empirical indicators for assessing housing stratification are analyzed. The article also provides the results of empirical research of the parameters of housing inequality through the method of structured semi-formalized observation in the three cities of Kirov Oblast: regional center Kirov, and two administrative centers – Kirovo-Chepetsk and Vyatskiye Polyany. A number of objective and subjective estimates of the quality of housing accessible to observation is determined. The conducted comparative analysis allows revealing the strong and weak sides of the housing complexes of various cities. It is demonstrated that at the microlevel of the building, occasionally one can observe the polarization between building entrances depending on the civic engagement and responsibility of the residents. At the mesolevel, within the residential neighborhood, housing stratification depends mostly on the year built, because the parameters of quality and state of the building directly correlate with its age, despite the capital repair.

Keywords: urban environment, housing class, stratification criteria, housing status, housing stratification, housing stock, housing quality, housing disparity, housing, sociological observation



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