טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
Ph.D Thesis
Ph.D StudentIsrael Emil
SubjectSocial Justice and Equal Opportunities in an Era of Urban
Suburbanization
DepartmentDepartment of Architecture and Town Planning
Supervisor Professor Emeritus Amnon Frenkel
Full Thesis text - in Hebrew Full thesis text - Hebrew Version


Abstract

The objective of the study was to convert the abstract notion of justice into an empirical examination, in which the social implications of suburbanization could be measured. By developing a conceptual framework that adopts the liberal meaning of social justice, the gap between normative theorizing about human well-being and the analysis of actual situations could be bridged.

The conceptual framework suggests that the accumulation of the three of Bourdieu’s forms of capital (Economic, Cultural and Social) determines a social space which defines class-related inequalities in various spheres of life. Social processes within built environments influence the patterns in which these forms of capital are being created and spatially distributed. Thus, concepts of the social space and the living environment function as background conditions, that determine equality of capabilities (i.e., life-chances), which is the end product of justice under the current theoretical elaboration.

The epistemological layout suggested was converted into an experiential testing, exploring the gaps between the city of Netanya’s inhabitants and their suburban counterparts, with regards to the different components of the conceptual framework. Based on a field survey that sampled 1,063 households in the research area, data could be analyzed by means of diverse statistical methods (e.g., structural equation modeling and multiple regression models). In addition, in-depth interviews of senior local authority officials were conducted in order to analyze their investment policy in regard to the production of capital resources and the augmentation of their inhabitants' life chances.

The analysis implies that fundamental spatial gaps exist in the way capital forms are distributed in space. It seems that suburban inhabitants benefit from a larger accumulation of capital than do urban inhabitants. This tendency is coincident with a significant exposure to life chances. The analysis also reveals that accumulation of the forms of capital, in addition to the characteristics of the living environment and habitus have a positive effect on the exposure to life chances. The spatial location has a direct and significant effect on this relationship, in which living in the suburbs increases one's exposure to life chances. Local policy was found to be crucial in these disparities. Moreover, various municipalities and households have different accumulations of each form of Bourdieuian capital, implying the existence of a complex social space. In that sense, the research provides new scientific knowledge regarding the city-suburb cleavage and better understanding of the meaning of social justice in an empirical examination.