Victoria Clark

Doctor of Philosophy, (Psychology)
Study Completed: 2018
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Striking the right balance: a discursive psychological approach to understanding the social dynamics of shared domestic living arrangements among young adults in New Zealand

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Shared housing or flatting is an economically pragmatic, popular accommodation option for young adults in New Zealand and the Western world. Research on this lifestyle is limited, particularly with regard to how interpersonal relationships are managed in domestic intimacy. Mrs Clark investigated the social dynamics of young households by discursively analysing interviews with 37 flatters aged 20 to 35. Analysis considered the construction of ideal flatmates; preferences for flatting with friends or strangers, couples or singles; whether the social advantages of flatting are compromised by household chores; the efficacy of rosters; conflict and how participants conceived the household dynamic. Her results indicated that house sharers are acutely conscious of the need to carefully navigate domestic relationships. She found that to avoid potential complications a delicate balance across a number of spheres is necessary for a workable living arrangement, for example, counterbalancing tensions between independence and privacy versus in-house socialising.

Associate Professor Keith Tuffin
Dr Natilene Bowker
Dr Karen Frewin


Clark, V., & Tuffin, K. (in press). Choosing housemates and justifying age, gender and ethnic discrimination. Australian Journal of Psychology.

Tuffin, K., & Clark, V. (2014). Discrimination and housemates with mental and substance abuse problems. "Manuscript submitted for publication"