Homelessness, social relations and institutional logics: property rights without property?

Luiz, John M and Rycroft, James (2018) Homelessness, social relations and institutional logics: property rights without property? Socio-Economic Review. ISSN 1475-1461

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Abstract

We explore whether there is evidence of property rights amongst the homeless, and if so, how these rights are governed. By conducting interviews with 52 homeless people in Cape Town, we show that although the homeless are able to derive some value from assets, and can exclude other members of their community, these rights are precarious and dependent upon state agents not seizing the ‘property’ and overriding the community’s rules of the game. We demonstrate the intersectionality of claims with respect to the same physical property from the varying perspectives of the claimants involved and how this differs depending on the property. Homeless people rely on a community logic to develop rules of the game which results in the appearance of a market logic. In the absence of formal institutions effectively operating in their spaces, they have constituted social norms which provide some semblance of property rights respected intra-group.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Property rights; formal/informal institutions; transaction costs; homelessness; institutional logics; qualitative research
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > Business and Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labour > HD0072 Economic development. Development economics. Economic growth
Depositing User: John Luiz
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2018 13:23
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2018 14:13
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/76677

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