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 Ã©migrÃ© activists, who … Read More