(1985, p.33) defines home as “an emotionally based and meaningful relationship
between dwellers and their dwelling places”. However, Rodeschini et al. (2011) suggest
that home is a contested concept and the meanings of home are continually
attributed by people who live in it. The meanings of home also draw upon the
epistemological and theoretical choices that we use to analyse this concept. This
annotated bibliography will explore the different meanings of home from the
views of different authors by firstly looking at home as an order, identity and
a nest. After that, home as a space with or without privacy will be focused on.
Then, home as a patriarchal and reproductive space will be examined from the feminist
perspective. Moreover, the meaning of home for gay men and lesbians will be
explored by looking at the non-normative homes. Lastly, home as a site of
resistance for black people will be discussed.

Dovey suggests
home is the centre of our spatial world, warmth and security. He also views
home as a territory with symbolic and physical boundaries that gives dwellers
control and privacy within home. These concepts are further explained with
regards to home as order and home as identity by Dovey. In addition, he argues
that the home environment is shaped by the experiences of the past and the
familiarity, and home can be emotional because it takes its identity from the
people who live in it. Similarly, Rodeschini et al. agree with Dovey’s ideas of
home and claim that “the concept of privacy, safety/security, and identity are
generally recognized as central in the construction of the ‘meaning of home’
(p.226). They also consider the physical boundary between the public and
private as a border that makes home as a nest where melancholy prevails.

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However, for a certain group of people, the concept of home
being a private space can be eroded. Mortenson et al. (2016) point out that for
the people who have long-term health issues and require in-home care services,
their privacy at home will be compromised because it is expected that dweller
is able to live autonomously and behave casually at home

concept of home is overwhelmingly positive, however, this is challenged by Bowlby
et al.’s (1997) interpretation of home. Bowlby et al. view home as a place that
creates, reproduces and maintains patriarchal relations instead of a paradise
without the pressure of paid employment and public life. The patriarchal
relations are reproduced through the process of ‘doing home’ and performing
caring tasks by women. For instance, as an act that contains the essence of
femininity such as “care” and “love”, cooking is mostly carried out by women at
home (Bowlby et al.). Moreover, Domosh (1998) argues that the conventional
notion of home being a place of reproduction only need to be also reconsidered.
She suggests that some economic activities such as sewing and quilting are
carrying out by many women in their home, and the ‘masculinist’ concept of home
as a private reproductive space should be challenged. Although the meanings of
home have been widely addressed by the feminist approach, Bowlby et al. point
out that the notion of home should be also considered through the perspective
of same-sex household and so can the duality of gender be challenged.

et al. (2003) explored the meanings of home for gay and lesbian young people
after coming out and suggest that the home could be either a place in which
they face violence and insults or a place where self-confidence and self-esteem
can build up within, depending on the reactions of their parents. Valentine et
al. summarise it as “Families can both hurt and heal” (p. 496). In addition,
Valentine et al. argue that young gay men and lesbians often choose to conceal
their sexuality when living in the family home because home is considered as a
place of heteronormative socialisation, which agrees with the conceptualisation
of home above provided by Bowlby et al.. However, Gorman-Murray (2007) argues
instead of a place of concealment, home can be used by gay man and lesbians to
reinforce their sexual identities, relationships and communities.

home’, Australian
Geographer, 38(2), pp. 195-213.

From Bowlby
et al.’s perspective, home is regarded as a place where women were oppressed and
exploited, so the outcome of it is always negative. However, as a black woman, hooks
(1990) has a completely different thinking of the meanings of home and the role
of women within home. She argues that by making homes, black women are
constructing a space where black people could feel safe, where they can affirm
their black identity and where they can restore their lost dignity in a public
racist world.

comparative review of texts produced by Valentine (2001) and Blunt and Dowling
(2006) provide a comprehensive summary of the concept of meanings of home.
Blunt and Dowling also explain how the meanings of home have been explored by
Marxists and Humanists. In conclusion, the meaning of home is a contested
concept and it is constantly attributed by the personal experiences of the
dwellers, which could intersect with sex, age and race. It could be either
positive or negative, depending on the epistemological and theoretical choices
that we use to analyse it. It is important to understand the sophisticated meanings
of home when carrying out empirical research on current housing crisis and research
on urban planning. Unpacking the meanings of home is also useful to
understanding people’s everyday life.


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