Choosing this life: Narratives of choice amongst house sharers

E. Kenyon, S. Heath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Housing sharing amongst young adults is often regarded as being of significance only as a short term, transitional arrangement, and is associated with economic constraint. This association is, however, undergoing change, as it is a household form increasingly adopted by young people in professional and managerial occupations. This paper focuses on the experiences of these rather more advantaged sharers, and explores their own accounts of why they live in shared housing. The language of choice features heavily in their narratives, embracing a consideration of the material and non-material benefits of sharing, and of their own projected domestic trajectories. It is concluded that, whilst financial concerns are not unimportant in their decision-making, most regard their living arrangements as appropriate to the needs and demands of their current lifestyles, and do not experience their living arrangements as products of constraint.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)619-638
Number of pages19
JournalHousing Studies
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Shared housing
  • Transitions
  • Young people


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