Published in International Encyclopedia of Housing and Home, Volume 6, January 1, 2012, pages 325-329.
The definitive version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-08-047163-1.00322-2.
The importance of a house in enabling individuals and families to attain physical shelter from inclement weather, provide security, a ‘grounded’ attachment to place, and enhance the quality of life of residents is an idea that has universal acceptance. Particularly since the Second World War, it has become an integral part of the popular imagination. The almost iconic status of what a house represents to upwardly mobile, nuclear, families is reflected in the great expansion of industries involved in real estate and housing development. This expansion includes the production for, and growth of, a formalized building and construction industry, and the production of domestic appliances and tools that are deemed essential for attaining a ‘modern’ ‘ideal’ domestic life. The theme popularized by the housing industry, of the virtue of the nuclear ‘modern’ family and the good life enabled to it by appropriately designed and furnished housing and appliances, has been enormously compelling. The meaning of house in the creation of ‘home’ in the post-industrial era has been universally marketed to those able to climb onto the development ladder. These have largely been families who were a part of the growing ‘middle class’ in the industrialized world and more recently in the developing world too.
Urban, Community and Regional Planning