Surveillance in supportive housing: intrusion or autonomy?

Parsell, Cameron (2015) Surveillance in supportive housing: intrusion or autonomy?. Urban Studies, 53 15: 3189-3205. doi:10.1177/0042098015613205

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Author Parsell, Cameron
Title Surveillance in supportive housing: intrusion or autonomy?
Journal name Urban Studies   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0042-0980
Publication date 2015-11-03
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/0042098015613205
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 53
Issue 15
Start page 3189
End page 3205
Total pages 17
Place of publication Cambridge, United Kingdom
Publisher Royal Society of Chemistry
Language eng
Abstract The interdisciplinary literature demonstrates that the built form constitutes home when people have capacity to exercise control. Consistent with normative ideas of autonomy and freedom, home is a place where we are free from surveillance; at home we expect to live of our own volition. Freedom and autonomy in the home are contrasted with the public realm, and the value of privacy in the home is central for self-determination and identity construction. In line with such reasoning, surveillance in housing is theorised, and indeed widely assumed, as antithetical to home. This paper presents empirical material to examine how surveillance in supportive housing is understood by those with firsthand experiences as tenants and service providers. The research draws on in-depth interviews with tenants (n = 28) and service providers (n = 22) in single-site supportive housing in Australia. The empirical material demonstrates how surveillance is experienced as intrusive, but that surveillance also promotes the conditions for people to feel safe and to exert control over their lives. The research shows how tenants actively used surveillance as a desirable resource, including using surveillance to restrict unwanted visitors. Surveillance achieved functions, particularly safety and security, that individuals were unable to experience as homeless or achieve in housing through informal controls.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Institute for Social Science Research - Publications
Official 2016 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 5 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 1 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 06 Nov 2015, 18:47:08 EST by Dr Cameron Parsell on behalf of Institute for Social Science Research