The roles of gender, class, housing, and social integration on residential satisfaction and mobility in post-apartheid Cape Town, South Africa

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Parashar, Sangeeta
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Households experiencing residential satisfaction are joint headed, homeowners residing at their current dwelling for a long duration, well integrated within the community, and possessing low intraurban mobility, high percent of dependents, low crowding, high incomes, and low percent of adults employed. Households satisfied with their community are home renters residing at their current dwelling for a short time and who have experienced downward residential mobility; they have high incomes, low percent of employed adults, and are socially integrated. Finally, mobility plans are positively shaped by high intraurban mobility, homeownership, low housing type mobility, high crowding, residential improvements, high level of occupational skill, high percent of adults employed, low membership in organizations, and dissatisfaction with housing and community. Explanations for these results are advanced, and implications and policy issues are discussed.Forced displacement of Black households due to apartheid laws in South Africa has resulted in race, class, and gender based occupational and residential segregation. Despite the Reconstruction and Development Program, households still possess low socioeconomic status while dissatisfaction with housing and community conditions persist. Migration and social networks have emerged as necessary survival strategies. This study draws upon the political economy perspective in examining causal influences of groups' differential access to resources and opportunities (especially housing). It also uses the structuration theory in investigating the interplay of household and prevailing social relations in shaping the unit's livelihood strategies, particularly social networks and mobility plans. Recognizing the importance of structure and agency, it is postulated that key socioeconomic and sociodemographic factors will shape household social integration, and collectively, these determine satisfaction with housing and community and migration plans. Quantitative data on 807 households, drawn from a metropolitan wide survey of Cape Town, South Africa, were used to analyze hypothesized relationships. The survey was commissioned by the Western Cape Community-based Housing Trust in 1995. Multivariate binary logistic regression is the principal statistical analysis procedure employed. Social integration is significantly and positively affected by female headship, as well as age, class, experience in urban center, and duration of current residence.

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