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Changes in social characteristics of former council estates in the City of Canterbury since the introduction of the Right to Buy legislation

Xie, Aijie (2012) Changes in social characteristics of former council estates in the City of Canterbury since the introduction of the Right to Buy legislation. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94740) (KAR id:94740)


The aim of this thesis is to explore changes in social characteristics of former council estates in the City of Canterbury, since the introduction of the Right to Buy legislation.

Research on social changes related to the Right to Buy has centred on a series of issues, however, a complete account of the evolution of social characteristics in former council housing areas seems not to have been explored in the literature. For this reason, the thesis intends to trace social changes that have taken place in former council estates, and to examine the changes against the issues discussed in the literature.

Data has been collected from the 1981, 1991 and 2001 UK censuses, which delineate the social characteristics in former council estates before the changes (1981), during the changes (1991) and after the changes (2001). Fifty-one social indicators have been developed to represent the social characteristics being examined. Three data matrices, one for each census, have been constructed to study social change.

Multivariate analysis has been applied to the data. First of all, Principal Components Analysis (PCA) was performed to study the dimensionality of the data, which generated consistent results over the three data matrices. Secondly, Multidimensional Scaling (MDS) has been applied to study the similarities between areas in each data matrix. Property Fitting (ProFit) has been used to interpret the MDS configurations, and to help identify former council housing areas. Lastly and most importantly, Three-way Multidimensional Scaling has been adopted to study social change. The model used is INDSCAL by Carroll and Chang (1970), which generates a common space where the structure of social indicators remains constant. Areas have been represented into the common space by ProFit, in order to reveal the trend of social change over time. The results show that the changes in social characteristics of these former council housing areas are in line with the social changes discussed in the literature, i.e. the sale of council houses has resulted in the residualisation of the council housing sector, the growth of home ownership, social mix within former council estates, and gentrification-induced displacement.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94740
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 25 April 2022 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Department of Leadership and Management
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2023 14:59 UTC
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2023 14:59 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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