Rental as A Taste of Freedom: The Decline of Home Ownership amongst Working-class Youth in Spain during Times of Crisis


Over the past few decades, as the neoliberal project gradually took hold, owning one’s home became a widespread practice in Spanish society. However, the prospects of purchasing housing have since been severely reduced due to the bursting of the real estate bubble and the onset of an overwhelming economic crisis. This article analyses how working-class young people in Catalonia reflect on this phenomenon as they face their own process of moving away from home. It also considers the extent to which the spread of the so-called ‘culture of ownership’ represented an expression of neoliberal culture, and the extent to which the apparent dissolution of the former implies the erosion of the latter. The article concludes that home ownership has undergone a complex resignification in this sector of society, but continues to be an important aspiration insofar as the underlying conditions that originally brought it about continue to exist.