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Title:Geospatial analysis of residential mobility in media: Selling buildings and buying homes
Author(s):Shakespeare, Rebecca
Subject(s):New York City
Residential histories
House hunting

Americans love media about house-hunting; by analyzing media representations of house-hunting, we can understand more about the reasons that people move and how media narratives reinforce particular ideas about housing. This data visualization contributes to literature highlighting how house-hunting media content, like HGTV, reinforces the idea of housing as a commodity. Using New Yorkers’ residential histories, derived from the text of Joyce Cohen’s weekly real estate column “The Hunt” from the New York Times in 2017, this shows two households’ similar experiences of housing as a commodity. Vertical lines represent the time that households spent living in a specific area and horizontal connectors indicate times that they moved. In the inset, specific events which impacted residential mobility are displayed at the times and locations the events occurred. Two of the fifty weekly columns analyzed included “building sold” as a reason for moving. These households’ demonstrate two ways that housing is treated as a commodity: first, as renters’ buildings are sold for profit; second, as renters buy housing as investments. This geographic visualization of stories, called geo-narrative, provides a spatially and temporally situated view of the intertwined experiences of residents in the same city.


The Hunt, weekly house-hunting column in the New York Times.

Issue Date:2018
Rights Information:Copyright 2018 Rebecca Shakespeare
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-02-05

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