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Social Networks and Network-Friendly Housing in the U.S

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image of International Journal of Comparative Sociology
For more content, see Comparative Sociology.

Whenever households find themselves deprived of participation in the mainstream Benchmark family paradigm, they tend to be vulnerable to a number of social ills. One solution to their isolation and vulnerability is to construct networks of mutual support. Under certain conditions, those networks may develop into what is called "families we choose" or social families. The question facing today's designers and housing-planners is how to create the sorts of physical spaces that facilitate patterns of "helping out," i.e., network-friendly housing. Many U.S. public housing units are renovated each year. Simultaneously, many self-help groups are organized among public housing residents. This paper argues that coalescing these two realities is in the best interests of those citizens. Public policies are redefined to facilitate the generation and maintenance of social families. Those families are assisted in designing their own cohousing using a state-of-the-art technique for the collaborative design.

Affiliations: 1: College of Architecture, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-5705, U.S.A.; 2: Department of Sociology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-2036, U.S.A.


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