Academic journal article Southeastern Geographer

Peoples' Perceptions of Housing Market Elements in Knoxville, Tennessee

Academic journal article Southeastern Geographer

Peoples' Perceptions of Housing Market Elements in Knoxville, Tennessee

Article excerpt

This article examines the role of race/ethnicity and contemporary housing market elements in Knoxville, Tennessee, using the framework of Market-Led Pluralism (M-LP) as laid out in Brown and Chung (2008). It examines how race and class affect consumers' decisions on where to live and whom to live with. The M-LP suggests that at the center of the whole dynamism are five elements--housing developers/builders, lenders, realtors, consumers, and communities--and that in contemporary times, the role of class is more important than race or culture when making home buying decisions. This paper analyzes responses and perceptions of twenty households in Knoxville and finds that the survey responses do not indicate significant differences in terms of preferences and choices across races/ethnicities. However, in-depth interviews bring out nuanced insights on aspects of racial steering, discrimination and bad lending practices. This analysis also highlights how perceptions of space and place differ as the sexual orientation, cultural and political affiliations and gender-differentiated responsibilities intertwine with each other and influence peoples' decisions on where to live and whom to live with.

KEY WORDS: market-led pluralism, realtors, developers, builders, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation.

Este articulo examina el papel de la raza/etnia y los elementos del mercado de viviendas contemporaneas en Knoxville, Tennessee, usando el marco del mercado encabezada por pluralismo (M-LP) segun lo establecido en Brown y Chung (2008). El examina como la raza y la close afectan las decisiones de los consumidores sobre donde viviry con quien vivir. El M-LP sugiere que en el centro del todo del dinamismo son cinco elementos--los desarrolladores de las viviendas y los constructores, los prestamistas, los corredores de bienes ralces, los consumidores y las comunidades--y que en la epoca contemporanea, el papel de la close es mas importante que la raza o la cultura cuando se toman decisiones de compra de vivienda. Este trabajo analiza las respuestas y percepciones de veinte hogares en Knoxville, y encuentra que las respuestas a la encuesta no indican diferencias significativas en terminos de las preferencias y opciones a traves de razas/etnias. Sin embargo, las entrevistas profundas sacar a relucir perspicacias matizadas sobre aspectos de la direccion racial, la discrimination y las practicas de prestando incobrable. Este analisis tambien pone de relieve como las percepciones del espacioy del lugar difieren como la orientacion sexual, las afiliaciones culturales y politicos y responsabilidades diferenciadas porgenero se entrelazan unos con otros e influir en las decisiones de la gente sobre donde viviry con quien vivir.

PALABRAS CLAVE: mercado encabezada por pluralismo, corredores de bienes raices, desarrolladores, constructores, raza/etnia, orientacion sexual


The residential mosaics created by growing diversity in contemporary U.S. urban landscapes are characterized by conflicting perspectives. The intra-urban patterns up until the 1960s and 1970s were shaped by various elements discussed in the urban ecology and traditional frameworks (Burgess 1925; Park 1936). In contemporary times, however, the intra-urban spaces of American metros are shaped by a complex mix of market elements such as realtors, developers, builders, and bankers/investors on one end of the spectrum and consumers (homeowners and renters) and communities on the other. These interactions eventually manifest themselves through complex mosaics of segregated and intermixed spaces that are shaped on the basis of class, race, culture, lifecycle, and lifestyles of the consumers. Concerning intra-urban spaces, an increasing significance of housing market elements in shaping peoples' decisions have been noted in the framework of Market-Led Pluralism (M-LP) by Brown and Chung (2008). They suggest that the role of traditional frameworks such as assimilation, stratification, and resurgent ethnicity miss out on adequately explaining contemporary patterns, while the influence of market makers continue to increase. …

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