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An appraisal of the incorporation thesis : housing tenure and political values in urban Canada Pratt, Geraldine J. 1984

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AN APPRAISAL OF THE INCORPORATION THESIS -HOUSING TENURE AND POLITICAL VALUES IN URBAN CANADA By G e r a l d i n e J . P r a t t B . S c , The U n i v e r s i t y of T o r o n t o , 1977 M . A . , The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Co lumbia , 1980 A DISSERTATION SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of Geography We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the r e q u i r e d s t andard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA May 1984 © G e r a l d i n e J . P r a t t , 1984 In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements fo r an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. I t i s understood that copying or publi c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of Geography  The University of B r i t i s h Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 i i ABSTRACT The i n c o r p o r a t i o n t h e s i s , which l i n k s homeownership and c o n s e r v a t i v e p o l i t i c a l v a l u e s , was examined. A d e a r t h of e m p i r i c a l work, as w e l l as the c o m p l e x i t y of the argument, which i n t e g r a t e s economic , p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l f a c t o r s , n e c e s s i t a t e d a complex r e s e a r c h d e s i g n . T h i s i n c l u d e d a c o n s i d e r a t i o n of the m a t e r i a l advantages of homeownership i n the Vancouver , B r i t i s h Columbia hous ing market to e s t a b l i s h t h a t homeownership has been a s i g n i f i c a n t source of revenue f o r the homeowner, through both house p r i c e i n f l a t i o n and government s u b s i d i s a t i o n . C l a ims c o n c e r n i n g the a s s o c i a t i o n between homeownership and c o n s e r v a t i v e p o l i t i c a l a t t i t u d e s were then e v a l u a t e d by means of an urban n a t i o n a l sample of r o u g h l y 2000 p u b l i c l y a v a i l a b l e i n t e r v i e w s , c o l l e c t e d i n 1979 as pa r t of the S o c i a l Change i n Canada s t u d y . Housing c l a s s , d i s c r i m i n a t i n g between r e n t e r s , mortgaged homeowners and out -r i g h t homeowners, was c o n s i s t e n t l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h p o l i t i c a l behav iour s and a t t i t u d e s , which ranged from o b j e c t i v e measures such as p o l i t i c a l p a r t y a f f i l i a t i o n to s u b j e c t i v e i n d i c a t o r s i n c l u d i n g a t t i t u d e s towards p l a n n i n g l i f e ahead. The independent s i g n i f i c a n c e of hous ing c l a s s i n r e l a t i o n to a t t i -tudes was e s t a b l i s h e d by c o n t r o l l i n g for c l a s s , SES, household income, e d u c a t i o n and l i f e - c y c l e . A s t r i k i n g outcome of t h i s a n a l y s i s was the f i n d i n g tha t the a s s o c i a t i o n between hous ing tenure and p o l i t i c a l a t t i t u d e s or behav iour was indeed e v i -dent , but o n l y w i t h i n p a r t i c u l a r s o c i a l c l a s s e s , household income groups and s tages of l i f e - c y c l e . A s o c i a l p r o f i l e was deve loped of those for whom hous ing c l a s s was e s p e c i a l l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h a t t i t u d e s : low income household heads i n s k i l l e d nonmanual o c c u p a t i o n a l c a t e g o r i e s , whose f a m i l y o b l i -g a t i o n s had perhaps f o r c e d them i n t o a m a r g i n a l homeownership p o s i t i o n . In c o n t r a s t , no a s s o c i a t i o n between hous ing c l a s s and p o l i t i c a l o r i e n t a t i o n was noted for s k i l l e d manual worker s . T h i s c o n t r a s t was taken i n t o a sample of 100 i n depth i n t e r v i e w s w i t h homeowners and r e n t e r s i n an outer Vancouver suburb i n order to unders tand the p roce s se s l y i n g behind the a s s o c i a t i o n s . The p a t t e r n s of a s s o c i a t i o n noted for the l a r g e r data set were conf i rmed and l i n k e d to i n s t i t u t i o n a l memberships. A d d i t i o n a l i n s