Squatting in London: Politics and Identity

I finally uploaded my dissertation you can find it here:

Squatting in London: Politics and Identity

This work presents an analysis of the squatter movement in London. After a historical introduction reviewing the main events related to land property and squatting, the concepts of cultural politics and new social movements are explained, justifying the use of this theories with a review of previous definitions of power, politics and social movements. Culture and identity play a significant role in both theories.

Current literature on squatting analyzes this issue using a historical point of view, as part of a social movement, or from the point of view of its relationship with state politics. There are not many studies dealing with squatting on a smaller scale or considering culture and identity. Of these, the typology proposed by Pruijt is a useful tool to understand the squatter community in any city, and it also offers a set of characteristics to analyze when researching these communities.

The methodology, based on critical realism, consists on the triangulation of three different qualitative methods applied on three different sources. The sampling is based on the structure of the squatter community. Besides the squatters themselves, there are different organizations involved in the community, from squatter networks to a nationwide legal aid organization. The research will be based on an interview of a group of squatters living in a squat in London, an observation of an event organized for people new to squatting or people looking for partners to begin a new squat, and the analysis of a book widely spread in the community with legal advice and practical knowledge.

The analysis of this data will provide an argument in favor of the idea that the squatter community is actually a social movement, and a classification of the observed squats using Pruijt’s typology.

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