The origin of spaces: Understanding residential satisfaction from ape nests, human cultures and the hierarchy of natural housing functions

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Abstract

This paper seeks to establish a natural approach towards understanding housing by suggesting the existence of a primal hierarchy of natural housing functions based upon an analysis of nesting behaviour in hominid apes (gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans). A review of international research on housing satisfaction and an analysis of data from the American Housing Survey confirm the modern relevance of this hierarchy of natural housing functions to the perceived housing quality of both homeowners and tenants. The proposed hierarchy provides a simple, compelling and eminently cross-cultural perspective for housing quality and policy analysis. Adding this natural viewpoint to traditional approaches may generate useful alternatives and novel insights.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-295
Number of pages17
JournalHousing, Theory and Society
Volume27
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2010

Keywords

  • Housing anthropology
  • Residential satisfaction
  • Social theory

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