When a capital investment becomes an emotional loss: The health consequences of the experience of mortgage possession in England

S Nettleton, R Burrows

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper contributes to current debates on the psycho-social determinants of health by offering a qualitative analysis of the health consequences of the experience of mortgage possession. Previous research has shown that it is possible to decipher a statistical relationship between the onset of mortgage indebtedness and health. This paper extends this work by examining how this statistical patterning is generated at the level of the 'lived experiences' of families experiencing the loss of their mortgaged home. The narratives of 44 adults and 10 children from a sample of 30 households who have experienced mortgage possession are analysed. The results of this qualitative analysis are related to current debates in both the sociology of health inequalities and the sociology of the emotions concerned with the specification of what Elstad has called "the psychological stress, relative deprivation and psyche-social injuries of inequality structures".

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-479
Number of pages17
JournalHousing Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2000



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