Addressing the continuing quandary of theory in housing research: A systematic review of contemporary literature

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  • The housing studies field has been critiqued since the 1980s for under-engagement with theory. In this paper, we present the findings of a systematic literature review that investigates the extent to which contemporary housing scholarship engages with theory. By reviewing all research papers published in three leading housing journals in 2019 and 2020, we identify references to theory, and evaluate the extent of engagement with theory. In total, 313 papers were reviewed to assess current theoretical ‘frontiers’ in housing studies. We conclude that the theory-scape of housing research is more complex and nuanced than previously depicted, with contemporary scholarship engaging meaningfully with diverse theoretical frameworks of both ‘general’ and ‘housing-specific’ application. Our findings illuminate how housing studies is growing not only as an interdisciplinary field, but also as a well-theorized one.

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    Article (Published)
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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International