There is interest within the social exclusion debate about the extent to which people in deprived social housing estates are socially isolated and their material disadvantages reinforced by exclusion from job opportunities and inward-looking and negative social norms. One approach to this problem has been the introduction of a social mix through the development of new housing for owneroccupation. Through interviews with and diaries kept by residents in three Scottish estates this article charts residents’ networks and assesses the potential for owner-occupation to ‘reconnect’ existing residents with society beyond the local neighbourhood. The article concludes that owners and renters in regeneration areas largely inhabit different social worlds and that the introduction of owner-occupation makes little difference to renters’ networks. Policy implications include the need to meet the housing aspirations of homeowners in these areas, and the effects of promoting largescale commercial developments based on heavy car use in towns and cities.
Rowland AtkinsonDepartment of Urban Studies, University of Glasgow, UK