Navigating the field of housing: housing pathways of young people in Amsterdam

  • Cody Hochstenbach
  • Willem R. BotermanEmail author


In many western cities, housing opportunities of young people are increasingly constrained due to housing market reforms and decreasing affordability as a result of processes of gentrification. Little is known about how young people deal with these constraints and how this differs across class and other boundaries. This paper addresses this question, by showing how young people make use of various forms of capital to gain access to specific sections of the housing market. Connecting concepts of Bourdieu and De Certeau to theories about housing pathways, this paper presents new ideas about how young people follow different pathways as they navigate the housing field. Next to a linear housing pathway, this paper presents two other housing pathway types: young households can either follow a chaotic pathway deliberately and relatively successfully or become trapped in a chaotic pathway. This paper shows the possession of various forms of capital, and their utilisation has a marked influence on the type of pathway young people follow.


Housing pathways Young people Housing markets Marginal gentrification Cultural capital 



The authors would like to thank the Ministry of the Interior for funding the research; Marijn Sleurink, Richard Ronald, Sako Musterd, Robbin-Jan van Duijne for collaborating on this research project; and three anonymous referees for useful suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research/Urban GeographiesUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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