Migration, Settlement, and the Concepts of House and Home

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Routledge, 2016 - Social Science - 238 pages

How do migrants feel "at home" in their houses? What do the concepts of house and home mean for them? Literature on the migrant house and its role in the migrant experience of home-building is inadequate. In opposition to the rich body of literature on the meanings of home for migrants, the migrant house as a built form has not received such attention. To address these questions, this book offers a theoretical framework based on the notion of home-building and the concepts of home and house embedded within it. The book presents innovative research on four migrant groups who have settled in two metropolitan cities in two periods of time: migrants from Italy (migrated in the 1950s and 1960s) and from mainland China (migrated in the 1990s and 2000s) in Melbourne, Australia, and migrants from Morocco (migrated in the 1950s and 1960s) and from the former Soviet Union (migrated in the 1990s and 2000s) in Tel Aviv, Israel. The analysis draws on qualitative data gathered from 46 in-depth interviews with migrants in their home-environments, including extensive visual data. Levin argues that the physical form of the house is meaningful in a range of diverse ways during the process of home-building, and that each migrant group constructs a distinct form of home-building in their homes/houses, according to their specific circumstances of migration, namely the origin country, country of destination and period of migration, as well as the historical, economic and social contexts around migration.

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About the author (2016)

Iris Levin is a post-doctoral researcher who has recently completed a large research project at Flinders University and is about to commence a new project at Tel Aviv University.

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