From Grenfell Tower to the Home Front: Unsettling Property Norms Using a Genealogical Approach

Burgum, Samuel (2018) From Grenfell Tower to the Home Front: Unsettling Property Norms Using a Genealogical Approach. Antipode, 51 (2). pp. 458-477. ISSN 0066-4812

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The Grenfell fire was symbolic of an unequal urban landscape closely tied to material and aesthetic norms around property ownership and entitlement. The aim of this paper is to unsettle these norms by advancing a novel genealogical approach. Through systematic review of government archives seldom studied by property researchers, historical comparisons are mobilised to challenge the taken-for-granted way in which we approach property and ownership today. It is shown how, in the face of a comparable housing crisis and direct action, both Churchill's and Atlee's post-war governments temporarily overlooked property norms by extending wartime requisitioning powers. Going further, however, the paper argues that by revisiting history, we can also rediscover a legacy of “forced entry” that might open up political possibilities in the present. By advancing a genealogical approach to ownership, the paper contributes to wider discussions around property norms, concluding that we have before (and can again) enact property differently.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
30 November 2018Accepted
30 November 2018Published Online
Subjects: CAH15 - social sciences > CAH15-01 - sociology, social policy and anthropology > CAH15-01-02 - sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences > Criminology and Sociology
Depositing User: Gemma Tonks
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2023 14:15
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2023 14:15

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