Scales of home in today's Europe 
Stella Butter (University of Koblenz-Landau)
Zuzanna Bulat Silva (University of Wrocław)
Start time:
24 June, 2015 at 10:30 (UTC+0)
Session slots:

Short Abstract:

Our interdisciplinary panel combines ethnological, linguistic, literary and artistic perspectives on home. This allows capturing the multifaceted nature of scales of home. In each language, words for 'home' come with specific semantic baggage influencing how home is conceptualised.

Long Abstract:

The understanding and experience of home as an 'embryonic community' (Douglas) is a key factor in the formation of individual and collective identities. Being at home means being positioned within a socio-cultural order that one understands and/or is familiar with. It is this notion of home that is pervasive both in Western everyday discourses on home, representations of home in film or literature, and in current sociological, anthropological and ethnographic research. The meaning of home therefore cannot be reduced to a physical structure, such as a house or apartment, but includes feelings of belonging and/or familiarity, yet me must not forget that this meaning varies greatly in different languages, cultures and types of discourse. The intersection between individual and collective identity is tied to the multi-scalar character of home: home can be situated on different levels, ranging from one's body as a home, a physical structure (e.g. house, apartment, trailer), to a neighbourhood, a city or even larger-level units such as the nation. This list points to what geographers describe as the "simultaneous … relationship between scales" (Swyngedouw). These scales of home are not pre-given, but produced through "rhetorical and material practices" (Leitner). The scalar production of home is shaped by power struggles and has far-reaching socio-political consequences.

Our panel will not only look at how scales of home are produced through socio-economic practices, but also at how home/land is imagined in literature and the arts and what real-life effects these imaginaries of home have.

Accepted papers: