Accepted Paper:

Materialities of longing and loss: cherished items in the homes of Turkish-Dutch households  
Hilje van der Horst (Wageningen University)

Paper long abstract:

This paper is based on a research focussing on Turkish-Dutch domestic interiors in the Netherlands and in Turkey. The fieldwork consisted of interviews and observation in 92 dwellings, and in more public settings, such as various commercial spaces, festivals and museums in both the Netherlands and Turkey.

In this paper, I argue that research on cherished items of migrants needs to take class differences into account. I discuss how narratives that Turkish-Dutch formed around things had or desired to have differed according to their level of education. A preference for newness and furniture bought as a 'set', was prominent in the decoration practices of lower educated interviewees. Their preference for newness and furniture sets was diametrically opposed to the more eclectic styles of higher educated households that were also more disposed to displaying valued objects with a long sense of history and the capacity to be connected to the biographies of their owners.

Panel W122
Migration and materialities of home