Housing markets performing class

Nueva publicación de Tomás Ariztía en The Sociological Review: ‘Housing markets performing class: middle-class cultures and market professionals in Chile’.


This article takes a cultural economy approach to the analysis of housing markets as spaces in which class cultures are performed. The design and marketing of real estate projects are understood as the outcome of the interplay of different narratives, practices and materials involving cultural and economic calculations. I explore one particular type of cultural knowledge used during the production and sale of houses: the meanings of class and social mobility. I argue that housing markets and housing production involve the interrelation of several cultural calculations on class and social mobility. In other words, meanings of class and social mobility are instrumentally produced and used in the design, production and marketing of real estate. I describe how cultural calculations about class are inscribed into house location, house design and real estate advertising and marketing devices. Indeed, it is argued that in designing ‘real estate’ projects, agents and executives work as ‘sociologists at large’: they create and perform new meanings of class and social mobility.


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