Beyond Wishful Thinking: A FPE Perspective on Commoning, Care, and the Promise of Co-Housing

Citation:

Tummers, Lidewij, and Sherilyn MacGregor. 2019. “Beyond Wishful Thinking: A FPE Perspective on Commoning, Care, and the Promise of Co-Housing.” International Journal of the Commons (13) 1:  62–83. 

Authors: Lidewij Tummers, Sherilyn MacGregor

Abstract:

Co-housing has re-emerged in European cities as a model of common dwelling that aims to be ecologically and socially sustainable. Although it is the subject of growing academic interest, there are significant gaps in knowledge and wishful thinking about its promise that is not substantiated by evidence. We examine co-housing from a feminist political ecology (FPE) perspective with the aim of contributing to research on co-housing, and commoning more generally, as alternative practices in affluent Global North cities. Drawing on extensive research on co-housing in Europe and our observations from joint visits to four co-housing projects in the Netherlands and the UK, we cast critical feminist light on sharing practices at the level of the collectivized household. In addition to identifying synergies and tensions between FPE and recent literature on the radical promise of commoning, we raise questions about the extent to which the seeds of transformative, post-capitalist and post-patriarchal change are being sown in actually existing co-housing projects. We conclude with questions toward an agenda for co-housing research that moves beyond wishful thinking.

Keywords: co- housing, social reproduction, commons/commoning, gender justice, intersectionality

Topics: Economies, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Households, Intersectionality, Justice Regions: Europe, Northern Europe, Western Europe Countries: Netherlands, United Kingdom

Year: 2019

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