Book Review: Housing and Social Policy: Contemporary Themes and Critical Perspectives

Housing and Social Policy: Contemporary Themes and
Critical Perspectives
Edited by Peter Somerville and Nigel Sprigings, Routledge,
ISBN 0415283671, £27


The topics in this book range from a history of squatting to
housing policy in relation to gender, race and disability,
writes Kishor Patel. Each chapter is well
researched with extensive references.

Students should find the historical chapters useful, although
practitioners might feel they are rather cumbersome. However, most
readers should find the chapters on gender, race and disability,

Nevertheless, I was dismayed, at finding this sentence on page 83:
“…many of Britain’s second and third generation immigrants”. One
cannot be an immigrant if one is born in this country.

In discussions of gender, explicit reference to “white women” was
essential where black women were excluded from the “women”
category; discussions of “ethnic minorities” included black women
and a diverse mix of black and minority ethnic men. I found this
lack of focus on language quite unsatisfactory in an otherwise
excellent book.

This is a useful publication bringing together many themes
connected with housing policy, and its impact on other policies
such as economic, education and health. A book to dip into as
issues arise in the workplace.

Dr Kishor Patel is author of Multicultural Education in all
White Areas, Avebury, 1995

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