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house and home

House and Home

The notion of home is ambiguous, is often used in a metaphorical way, and is closely related to ideas such as house and dwelling. In this paper the phenomenon of house is explored via some phenomenological writings of Heidegger, Bollnow, Bachelard and Levinas. Common in their views is that being at house and dwelling imply something more elementary than an activity we do together with other activities, corresponding to working and travelling. Dwelling, constructing a house and being at house are elementary features of human existence.

Understood in such terms, residence turns into one thing much much less solid than a construction of stone or wooden. It tends to be contestable and fragile, a website not only of belonging but also of potential alienation when attempts to make home fail or are subverted. This flourishing literature more and more means that whereas bodily shelter may be a primary existential need, it’s houses and houses, wrapped up in the desire and battle for belonging, which underpin human sociality.

Home and the processes linked to it aren’t essentially material, and even when they are, they don’t need to be linked to a home. Home could evoke the notion of a homeland, whose material basis lies in the smells of road meals, the cadence of a dialect, or the grand architecture of symbolic monuments. This is the case, for example, with the Sikh ‘homeland’ of Khalistan, which exists as a yet-to-be realised nationalist vision, amongst local and émigré activists, who frequently focus on such visions on-line (Axel 2004). Linked to the imagination are the practical habits which produce and reproduce a sense of house, and which may persist in doing so, even within the absence of a set materials basis. Particularly in situations the place a fabric residence is not immediately available, as in states of homelessness, refuge, or migration, the imagination, memory, and practices of homemaking become essential to sustain a sense of stability and safety.

As the video ‘Going home’ demonstrates, individuals with dementia wish to go home or to be at home. For many patients in a psychogeriatric institution “home” seems to be a key word (Meijer 1992, 1993).

This distinction emerged in part via a growing understanding of how households might be websites of unhomeliness, whether or not for ladies faced with unvalued domestic labour, or for those dwelling with displacement or the everyday realities of poverty or state violence. Temporal dimensions, from an idealised past to an imagined future, have featured closely in recent research. At the identical time, a processual notion of residence, often as a type of ordering without essentially being confined to localised areas of homes, has also become important. The areas introduced underneath control, in processes of home making, do not nonetheless need to be precisely localised.

Houses and homes have been recognised as an important ground upon which most of the most outstanding theoretical questions of social science unfold, from the character of kinship, to the copy of sophistication and gender differences, to the shaping of sensory information. On the other hand, nonetheless, homes and homes usually stay out of focus, with their capacity to floor and form social life simply taken as a right and lacking analytical elaboration.

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