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It Took a Tenants' Movement: Tenants and the Making of Habitations Jeanne-Mance (1959-1994)


It Took a Tenants' Movement: Tenants and the Making of Habitations Jeanne-Mance (1959-1994)

Nettling, Pierson Christopher (2017) It Took a Tenants' Movement: Tenants and the Making of Habitations Jeanne-Mance (1959-1994). Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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This thesis demonstrates how public housing tenants in Habitations Jeanne-Mance (HJM) used their collective agency to challenge governance power within HJM and Montreal from 1959 to 1994. Written from the perspective of tenants and positioned in relation to urban governance studies on public housing within human geography, which consistently undervalue the agency of tenants to shape or challenge governance structures, this history of the tenants’ movement within HJM critiques this prevailing view in documenting how tenants governed from below in altering the historical trajectory of their housing project. Framing these tenant struggles historically in relation to governance within a from below dialectical approach grounded within a Gramscian reading of “war of position,” I detail how tenants constructed HJM as a space of resistance to elite power and governance. In constructing this space of resistance, I contend the tenants alone fundamentally shaped the history of HJM as a housing project. Situating their movements within the Left and citywide housing movements in Montreal from the 1960s to the 1990s, HJM for tenants from this era also became the modality in which these tenants lived their politics. Incorporating class-based politics within the shifting Quebec nationalist positions into their struggles that shaped the institutions tenants established within HJM and their neighbourhood, the tenants’ movement was sustained by the formation of a white Québécois political bloc within the tenants association. With these foundations, tenants challenged local elite political power over the rental contract in demanding recognition in the 1960s; formed the tenants association in the 1970s; campaigned for tenants’ management in the 1980s; and defeated social mix redevelopment plans in the 1990s. Through these struggles, tenants changed how the political class within Montreal historically understood HJM and culminated in the tenants making HJM a present-day outlier within the postwar era of public housing history in North America.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Geography, Planning and Environment
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Nettling, Pierson Christopher
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M. Sc.
Program:Geography, Urban & Environmental Studies
Date:July 2017
Thesis Supervisor(s):Rutland, Ted
Keywords:tenants movements, Habitations Jeanne-Mance, urban governance, public housing, social movements, Montreal
ID Code:982655
Deposited On:17 Nov 2017 14:53
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:55


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