Loose Praxis: Methodological assemblage in the social complexity of the Australian private rental system
Housing is recognised as forming the basis for, and is regarded as essential for, human security - at multiple scales and dimensions of that concept. Yet renters within sectors of the Australian rental housing system are becoming increasingly more vulnerable to decreasing levels of security through both policy mechanisms and competition based practices at various scales of the system that serve to exacerbate, if not exploit, that vulnerability.
This thesis reprises Friedmann’s 1993 call that ‘action in the public domain should be justified as that which furthers human flourishing’ and responds to that call by positing a broad definition of planning and a methodological assemblage; as an approach to planning research and policy making that is honouring of both human flourishing and human experience.
The research introduces an integral methodological approach to research/practice in housing and urban and social planning. Through an investigation from renters’ perspectives into the socio-spatial, material and conditional attributes of renting and rental housing this research inquires into the impacts of these on renters’ sense of home, security and their capacities for flourishing.
Research capturing the experiences of large cohorts of participants (renters) with a methodology and methods that offer both depth and span in addition to participatory processes has the capability to inform housing and planning, including policy planning, in a new way. The research is therefore conceptualised and enacted as housing problem and planning process, interdependent and multiscalar, even as it resides in the multifaceted security concerns, micro-narratives and participatory action research processes of individuals at micro and meso scales of a complex system.