By Malcolm Harrison, Cathy Davis

Problems with 'difference' are at the schedule correct around the social sciences, and are encountered day-by-day through practitioners in coverage fields. A primary query is how the welfare nation and its associations reply to impairment, ethnicity and gender. This booklet presents a useful assessment of key concerns set within the context of housing.Touching on matters starting from minority ethnic housing must the housing implications of household violence, this broad-ranging research exhibits how distinction is regulated in housing. It deploys a particular theoretical viewpoint that's acceptable to different elements of the welfare nation, and bridges the agency/structure divide.Housing, social coverage and difference:brings incapacity, ethnicity and gender into the centre of an research of housing guidelines and practices;offers a brand new method of housing, knowledgeable by way of contemporary theoretical debates approximately corporation, constitution and diversity;develops the tips of 'difference inside of difference' and 'social regulation';looks past the worries of postmodernism to create an unique account of distinction and constitution in the welfare state.The booklet should be a major textual content for college kids and researchers in housing, social coverage, making plans, city experiences, sociology, incapacity reviews, gender stories and ethnic family. it is going to additionally curiosity practitioners dedicated to bigger equalities of possibilities and a fairer society.

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Formalised citizenship practices have begun to accommodate difference more, providing in some respects for equality of opportunities at the level of individual treatment along with some recognition of diversity in law and its interpretation (for analyses see Poulter 1986, 1998). The position on UK formal citizenship has contrasted positively with that in some other European countries, although there are places where recognition at the level of formal intent has apparently gone further than in Britain (see contributions in Özüekren and Van Kempen, 1997, pp 435, 55-6, 207, 223, 233; cf Kvistad, 1998).

We have selected this because we think it productive, although agency and structure are not easily separable. Structure refers to ongoing effects of the aggregation of human actions of the past, in intended and unintended consequences of such actions, and is manifested through agency in the present. Some agency/structure debates and formulations might be better interpreted as ways of sensitising sociological thinking and language to the need to overcome any structure/action impasse within theory, rather than as immediate guides to empirical investigation1 .

There is a real danger, however, that the terms are used so broadly as to embrace almost everything important in human action and societal arrangements, and the term structure is (like agency) 36 Difference within difference potentially contested and confusing. Alternative terminologies may be used; such as ‘capacity’ (implying constraints and particular possibilities) and ‘choice’ (implying freedoms of action), but this may not solve all the problems of vagueness. Archer refers to two qualitatively different aspects of society, the social and the systemic, or if preferred, ‘action’ and its ‘environment’ (Archer, 1995, p 11).

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