Abstract

Lyons M. Chaos or complexity? Casualisation, feminisation and gentrification in London, 1971-1991. In: Creeser R, Gleave S, editors. Migration Within England and Wales Using the Longitudinal Study. ONS Series LS, No. 9. London: The Stationery Office; 2000. p. 49-61.

This chapter considers the way in which high-status employment change in London has been mapped on to the housing market through gentrification. The concept of gentrification is operationalised with reference to the rate of in-migration of 'classic' gentrifiers to an area. For each decade of the study period (1971-81 and 1981-91) gentrifiers are defined as in-migrants, aged 25-40 and in socio-economic class I at the end of the decade. On the basis of this, London boroughs are classified as gentrifying if they had higher than average rates of in-migration by young, high-status individuals. The author poses two important questions. First, to what extent did high-earning, high-status young women make their mark on the housing market, where, and by what means? Second, on the basis that they were largely second earners, how important were married or cohabiting women in the housing market?
Findings suggest that women's increasing participation in high-status occupations has only partially been translated into gains in London's housing market. The relatively young age profile of these women may be a contributing factor, as may their occupational status relative to men. Lyons surmises that the rapid house-price inflation seen in London in the 1980s may also be seen as a delaying factor, as it drove up the income necessary to enter the housing market, something that can be addressed in the short-term through occupational mobility, and the capital required for deposits, which cannot.