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Book & Theory | transientspaces

Book & Theory

  • Relationship between “home” and hospitality

    Within the framework of a general reflection on the relationship between “home” and hospitality, a multidisciplinary review of literature shows that the foundations of the concept of  “home” are based around space, time, identity and sociality. Their interactions generate specific dialectics, the most important of which seems to be inside-outside, private-public, free-constrained and individual-collective. Theoretical derivations on hospitality, place-attachment and place-appropriation follow. Then, the first step of a scale building process is undertaken, which makes the theoretical dimensions of the home concept emerge.


    Read the entire text in french:


  • 2. Ideal House/Home

    Back to: The study of ‘home’: a brief literary review

    Mallet identified a second major body of research which focuses on the analysis of the relationship between house and home within the examination of the notion of ideal home or house. Research in this field concentrates on physical structures. Typically, these works were seen to both reflect and perpetuate common ideas about the ideal home in Anglo-American and Australian contexts.  Certain studies problematised the  issue of ideal home but most privileged the relationship between house and home, de-emphasising other idealised meanings of home.


    • Porteus, J.D. (1976), ‘Home: The Territorial Core’ in Geographical Review 66(4)

    Porteus’ study found that people from diverse backgrounds living in Australia, Britain and the United States prefer free-standing houses with a yard and occupied by a single family.

    • Chapman, T. and Hockey, J. (1999) ‘Ideal homes? Social Change and Domestic Life’, London: Routledge

    The book looks at  the some of possible reasons behind certain notions of ideal homes within  social, historical and political contexts.

    Another study by Chapman and Hockey (1999), looks at the manipulative marketing techniques used by exhibition designers,during the 1995 British Ideal Home Exhibition. Their main interest of the study was on the forces that influence people’s perception of and ...

  • 1. House and Home

    Back to: The study of ‘home’: a brief literary review

    Looks at the uses of the word ‘home’ and how it has changed in historical and social contexts. Home derives from the Anglo-Saxon word ‘ham’ meaning village, estate or town. However, throughout history of the white Western world, the term has been adopted and used within varying contexts.


    • Berger, J. (1984), ‘And our faces, my heart, brief as photos’, London: Writers and Readers Publishings Cooperative

    Berger noted that during 17th century, the rise of the bourgeoisie engendered two kinds of moralists that have displaced the meaning of the term home. First, the ruling classes used the term ‘homeland’ to promote a form of nationalism and patriotism aimed at protecting and preserving their land, wealth and power.  Second, the idea of home became the focal point for a form of ‘domestic morality’ aimed at safeguarding familial property, including estates, women and children.

    Contemporary studies that consider the meaning of home include:

    • Madigan et al (1990), ‘Gender and the Meaning of the Home’ in International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 14 (4)
    • Dupuis and Thorns (1998), ‘Meaning of home for home owners’ in Housing Studies, 11 (4)

    Home in capitalist systems: The valorisation of home ownership in the context of ...

  • The study of ‘home’: a brief literary review

    drawingI used to send my mom drawings when she was living in the Middle East for her work. One of the first drawings that I remember making was of a home. The word ‘home’ seemed simple back then. However, the more I think about it, the more complicated it got. When I talk about home, I think of a geographical site, the country I was born in, the city I grew up in and my current place of living. I also talk of ‘home’ as a sense of familiarity, of habits that create a sense of belonging. Home is also made up of material things and familiar faces.

    Home has a personal meaning to each of us.  Shelley Mallett’s article, which traces the relevant theories and empirical literature on the subject,  asks whether a home is a place, space, feeling, practices or an active state of being in the world while highlighting how much the ‘home’ is a multidimensional and, sometimes, contradictory concept.  Mallet’s article shows that many academics and researchers have acknowledged the  presence and need for a multidisciplinary approach to ...

  • A Sense of Home: Stories of Objects

    paintingMoving about between different rented rooms, there are certain objects that I shall unpack first and place around that establish, for me, my sense of home in a place that is at once anonymous and yet pregnant with the lives of the people who have come before me.

    When I was an undergraduate I worked in a local cafe bar and independent, along with a group of other people about my age. It wasn’t just the job, but our mutual interests in cinema and music that established our friendships in an out of the workplace. It was a time when we all seemed to have a sense of being ‘in’ time, with no longing for the past nor anxiety about the future. Everything that we wanted seemed to be in our grasp. So when Lotti and I felt like dressing up and playing records for fun, we felt like it was something worth doing somewhere where others would enjoy it too. So we started a little series of events called “Bonjour Lamour” with themes inspired by imagery from various eras in the history of film and photography. These were ...

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  • Interesting texts on the topic

    Tony Fry – homelessness

    Doreen Massey – Places and their past

    In French:
    Veronique Cova – Vers une approche de l’hospitalité au travers d’une mesure du concept de “chez soi”

    In German (radio show):
    Heimat ist ein fluoreszierender Begriff

  • Welcome!

    This blog is about what “home” and “sense of belonging” means to you.

    Please post your own stories about how you make yourself feel at home, tell us about where you moved and why, add interesting links, quotes, theories or contribute to the discussion.