Research Team Type: Student-Led
Team Organizers: Beki McElvain, Alex Ramiller, and Laura Schmahmann
Disciplines: Political economy, urban theory, urban planning, Marxist theory
Organized by a group of graduate students from the UC Berkeley Department of City and Regional Planning, this Matrix Research Team will provide an inclusive, inter-disciplinary intellectual space for thinking through Marxian political economic theory and engaging with texts focused on the topic “land and housing.” The purpose is to bring together interdisciplinary understandings of Marxian political economy, urban theory, and practical urban issues across disciplines.
This focus has been identified by the group coordinators as an important field of inquiry in understanding the application of Marxian frame-works to contemporary society, particularly one in which land and housing are increasingly financialized. For example, do markets for land and housing primarily serve as markets for production or as markets for consumption under a capitalist system? How do Marxian concepts apply when talking about contemporary forms of homeownership? How can Marx’s viewpoints on agricultural land rent be reconciled with uses of land in urban areas? The research team will be open to anyone engaging with these ideas in their own social science scholarship through regularly scheduled reading workshops and invited speaker events.