The Transnationalization of The ‘Housing Problem’: Social Sciences and Developmentalism in Postwar Argentina
Contribution to Book
The Housing Question: Tensions, Continuities, and Contingencies in the Modern City
Edward Murphy and Najib B. Hourani
Global Urban Studies
By arguing that the problems of urbanization became indivisible from those of development, this article explores the role of low-income housing and urban spaces of poverty in the historical confluence of developmentalism, social sciences, and urban planning in the late 1950s. I ask why the social sciences, urban experts, and governments of the Americas granted working class conditions and housing renewed attention. In making their slums modern, this article argues, experts and governments in the Americas sought not only to deepen the mechanisms for capitalist accumulation but also the promotion of a whole set of political, laboral, and domestic behaviors. Modern housing would remedy urban squalor, promote the integration and assimilation of new urban residents, stimulate middle-class habits and mass consumption, and moderate political behavior, especially among the poor. Community life would integrate the individual into the polity and socialize him for the responsibilities and duties of citizenship. Housing and urban planning came to be both a desired outcome of modernization and an antidote to underdevelopment and social disintegration.
Benmergui, Leandro, "The Transnationalization of The ‘Housing Problem’: Social Sciences and Developmentalism in Postwar Argentina" (2013). Faculty Contributions to Books. 113.