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Alternative Lifestyles: Mobile Home Parks in the Metropolitan Fringe ¬ a UK/US comparison.

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Mobile homes are growing in popularity for those who cannot afford conventional housing (Yarnal and Aman, 2009). There are now approximately 250,000 people living in park homes in the UK while in the US over 22m people live in one. Considering that London and the South East require just under 100, 000 new homes pa to meet demand in the next 20 years (TCPA 2013), it is not surprising that authorities and developers are exploring the use of mobile homes as viable alternatives to traditional housing stock (Genz, 2001). Whilst very little is actually known about what this means for the future of the communities that actually inhabit these spaces, a range of stereotypes dominate our perceptions. Residents of mobile homes are often seen as “deficient: deficient in income, deficient in education, deficient in intelligence, and deficient in moral fibre” (MacTavish, 2006). This research aims to explore the lifestyles, social capital and sustainability of communities within mobile home parks in the UK and US, against a back drop of changing legislation (Mobile Homes Act 2013) and the continuing housing crisis in societies driven by capital ownership.

The research will comprise of a range of quantitative and qualitative fieldwork in and around the UK and working with partner institutions in the US – in either Michigan or North Carolina. It is expected that the bulk of the work in the Uk will focus in and around the South Eat, particularly examining outer London areas; however the specific field locations can be decided as part of the methodological development.
At the core of this research is the continuing debate around the need to move housing away from a pure exchange value conception, towards a more defined use value and how cultural, capital and the state will be able to achieve this through alternative means.

Funding Notes

No funding is available for this project: applications can only be accepted from self-funded candidates

Related Subjects

How good is research at Kingston University in Geography, Environmental Studies and Archaeology?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 10.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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