Research shows there is a current wave of housing renovation in Swedish cities, where private as well as public rental housing companies use “renoviction,” or dis- placement through renovation, as a profit-driven strategy. This article focuses on emotions and renoviction, in particular the emotions of tenants currently facing forced renovations, in Sweden. We discuss how power is reproduced and ques- tioned, and illustrate methods used by housing companies to carry out extensive renovation. The following questions have guided our analysis: What kinds of emo- tions are evoked among tenants experiencing an extensive, top-down and costly renovation? What particular injustices and violations are identified by the tenants in this situation? How can these violations be understood in relation to the cur- rent housing policy? Our research is qualitative and builds on semi-structured interviews with tenants as well as extensive ethnographic work in a neighborhood undergoing renovation, followed by steeply increased rents. We use the metaphor of “fractured trust” to conceptualize the emotional reaction of tenants, and argue that citizens ́ trust in the Swedish welfare system is being broken locally, in the wake of ongoing top-down renovation processes, by use of a rationality that does not take into consideration tenants’ perspectives and needs. We conclude that anxiety, angst, anger, and loss, attached together in a common feeling of shock, were the most prevalent emotions expressed and were described by tenants as a response to unfair treatment. In the interviews, a complex set of violations per- formed by the housing company in a renoviction neighborhood is brought to the forefront here, and set in this context of systemic violence exerted against tenants in contemporary Sweden.

How to reference the publication:

Polanska, D., & Richard, Å. (2019). Narratives of a fractured trust in the Swedish model: Tenants’ emotions of renovation. Culture Unbound. Journal of Current Cultural Research, 11(1), 141-164.