‘Communicide’: The destruction of a vibrant public housing community in inner Sydney through a forced displacement

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Journal Article
Journal of Sociology, 2019, 55 (2), pp. 270 - 289
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© The Author(s) 2018. In 2014, the New South Wales government announced that all of the 465 public housing tenants in Millers Point in inner Sydney, are to be relocated and their homes sold. This article, drawing on 41 semi-structured interviews with tenants who were residents at the time of the announcement, has two main aims. First, to contribute to the debate as to the continuity or otherwise of community in a global city in late modernity by closely examining the sense of community among the public housing tenants in Millers Point at the time of the displacement announcement. The second aim is to examine what I have termed ‘communicide’. I argue that the displacement policy directed at Millers Point public housing tenants can be described as an act of communicide as it destroyed a vibrant community causing tremendous dislocation and stress. After the move, many tenants found themselves deeply isolated.
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