Searching for the Separate Apartment
This chapter examines family-based strategies for acquiring a separate apartment under the conditions of property without markets, including inheritance, swapping, and marriage. The property rights of most owners today can be traced, directly or indirectly, to privatized socialist housing. To leverage privatized wealth, young Russians needed either the cooperation of older family members who were still alive, or an inheritance from those who had passed away. This chapter first considers the cultural logic of property rights before discussing young people's patterns of residence, registration, and home ownership. It then explores how young Russians try to improve their housing conditions and what cultural dispositions guide their strategies. It shows that young Russians diversify their possible routes to separate apartments, and secure those rights in case of divorce, by exploiting a perceived disjuncture between the residence, based on propiskas, and ownership, based on title, as the basis for legal claims to property.
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