Solidarity Resistance Involvement of Social Workers in Housing Struggles: A Case Study of Bedriska Neighbourhood

Jakub Cerny

OBJECTIVES: Social workers’ housing activism is the main focus of the article in which the aim is to map how social workers engaged in resistance measures against displacement in the contexto f the Czech “Bedriska neighbourhood”. THEORETICAL BASE: For the study I used critical social work and critical urban theory, and I framed activism around the concept of resistanceme asures. Displacement was then introduced as a symptom of housing oppression in the context of housing crises in post-socialist terrain. METHODS: In the Czech city of Ostrava there is a neighbourhood called Bedriska which was used in the research context. I analysed seven in-depth interviews with social and community workers involved in the neighbourhood struggle for right to stay between 2017 and 2020. Data were analysed using the grounded method. OUTCOMES: Establishing deeper connection with a displaced community beyond the topic of housing and previous experiences with collective organisation contributed to solidarity resistance engagement. Social worker’s resistance measures were shaped by their positionality towards institutions and the displaced community. Three elements that point out the emancipatory potential of resistance were identified – political, relational, and participative. SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATIONS: Social workers can be important solidarity actors of resistance and, by supporting tenants’ collective effort in marginalized neighbourhoods, they can promote social change in housing rights.

critical social work, resistance, displacement, Bedriska

p. 80-109

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