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This chapter summarises the material of the book. It revisits some of its core theoretical themes, suggesting that there are openings within the fissures presented by rentier capitalism’s corrosion of community, and its densification of everyday life within dwindling space. The author argues that these openings incorporate alternative strategies of social reproduction that signal a ‘will to become’: a desire for generational reconfiguration borne from the erosion of ‘secure’ pathways to traditional kinship structures.

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Research on local government in the UK during the era of austerity has shown that the decisions taken by local councils to cope with financial stresses were often narrated through the discourse of ‘resilience’, referencing their capacity to innovate and transform services, while protecting service provision in core areas. This emphasis on ‘resilience’ focused on the deployment of strategies to overcome funding challenges. However, this earlier research did not question the longer-term risks, trade-offs and negative social implications associated with such decisions, and how, even in circumstances where these practices provided some ‘breathing space’, in the longer-term they risked adding even more strain to the system as a whole.

This article fills an important research gap by considering four resilience strategies of two local authorities in England: Leicester and Nottingham. These four strategies are: savings, reserves, collaboration and investment. Applying a meso-level perspective and exploring resilience through the lens of crisis management, it asks in what ways and for whom resilience generates positive, zero and negative-sum outcomes.

This research enhances our understanding of the resilience concept by reflecting on its limitations and the risks it poses for local government. It also reveals that, while the concept of ‘resilience’ has been much criticised for normalising crises and generally operating as part of a de-politicising vocabulary, research is lacking on how the practices of resilience produce positive, zero or negative-sum outcomes.

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This chapter looks at the ways that affective politics circulate within precarious rental accommodation, amidst constricted desires and difficulties in holding boundaries. Moving from a discussion of sexual constriction to feelings of ‘displaced sovereignty’ among respondents who are mistreated by, yet defend, controlling landlord behaviour, the chapter makes connections between capital’s constriction of embodied agency and the suppression of political subjectivity. In the second part of the chapter, the author explores the efforts of queer collective households to realign their homes with desire for social and political transformation, and the tensions and challenges experienced along the way.

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This chapter sets out the substantive content of the book and its broad themes of generational inequality, housing unaffordability and intimate relationships. The chapter includes an account of the author’s personal housing experiences and an overview of their critique of the nuclear family. The author connects the generational disjunctures posed by housing inequality to the diminishing political purchase of the home-owning family, identifying the precarious intimacies of the rented sector as fertile ground for exploring this historical moment in the history of capitalism. There is also a discussion of methods.

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This chapter explores the immaterial, affective and invisibilised labour that renting respondents carried out to replenish their relationships. It first focuses on the affective labour carried out by some social housing residents affected by intergenerational histories of racial capitalism – something the author terms ‘cumulative precarity’. The chapter goes on to explore the precarious relational labour involved in creating a sense of belonging in transient, privately rented homes, looking at relationships to home improvement and outdoor space.

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This chapter draws out the politics of renting respondents’ reproductive imaginaries, and how they speak to the different lives that can be made and remade amidst precarity. The chapter explores the assumed dependentlessness embedded in the transient temporalities and dense spaces of London renting, and examines the ways that both social and private tenants’ access to social reproduction is eroded by the formulation of housing as either investment or consumption. The final section of this chapter shifts focus from the reproduction of families to the reproduction of romantic relationships.

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Generation, Rent and Reproducing Relationships in London

In a time of increasing social and economic inequality, this book illustrates the precarity experienced by millennials facing both rising rents and wage stagnation. Featuring the voices of those with lived experience of precarity in north-east London, MacNeil Taylor focuses on intimacy, reproduction and emotional labour.

The book widens readers’ understanding of a middle-class ‘generation rent’ beyond those locked out of anticipated home ownership by considering both social and private renters. Situated in a feminist and queer theoretical framework, the book reveals the crucial role of British policy-making on housing, welfare, and immigration on deepening inter- and intra-generational inequality.

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This chapter provides a conceptual overview of the theoretical literature and research on precarity, intimacy and reproduction. It unites these concepts to formulate a theory of precarious intimacy as the ‘place between difficulty and desire’ in insecure rented accommodation. This chapter also offers a geo-historical account of the assetisation of housing in Britain and specifically in London, with emphasis on the imperialist politics undergirding this process.

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Migration flows have diversified western societies, challenging the political viability of inclusive welfare states. This is very clear in research on perceptions of deservingness to social benefits, which consistently shows that immigrants are considered as less deserving of collective help than natives. At the same time, welfare states are being reoriented towards social investment, putting more emphasis on services that strengthen human capital and improve access to employment rather than on redistribution. In this article we ask whether the shift towards a social investment welfare state is likely to reduce the immigrant deservingness penalty. Theoretically, we rely on two perspectives: social trust and identity theory. Following the literature on social trust, we expect the reorientation of welfare states towards social investment to reduce the negative impact of diversity on solidarity, as those interventions are to an extent immune to free-riding. Alternatively, according to social identity theory, we expect a similar in-group bias independent of the intervention. We rely on vignette experiments conducted in 2021 in Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the US to compare the immigrant deservingness penalty between social compensation and social investment interventions. Results show no difference between the immigrant deservingness penalty across the social intervention types, suggesting exclusionary attitudes are driven by in-group favouritism.

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The context of this research paper is Cardiff in the UK. Imams from five different mosques were interviewed about integration and whether mosque open days and community activities support community cohesion. The research shows that the imams and their respective mosques are open to others in the local community, and are making efforts to engage with the local population, government agencies, and public services. Clear efforts are being made to encourage community cohesion, with the imams keen to pass on the message of a shared humanity to the wider community. The research provides some unique insights that help to fill the gap in the academic literature on Muslim communities, and may be used to inform policymakers on ways of supporting mosques and local communities in developing intercultural relations and creating an environment that is conducive to community cohesion

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