P. BOCCAGNI: ADVANCING TRANSNATIONAL MIGRATION STUDIES THROUGH HOME (HOMING WP11_2020)
This Working Paper provides a conceptual overview of the social experience of home and of its significance for transnational migration studies. Home, as a material setting, a special relationship with place or a source of distinctive emotions and social practices, is significantly affected by human mobility across borders. It is also a unique research venue to investigate and compare the transnational side of migrant everyday lives. Much transnational literature argues for migrants’ unprecedented connectedness with home (societies), or for their novel scope to retain a sense of home across borders or to emplace it in several locations simultaneously. However, these evocative claims are often disconnected from empirical research. The very notion of home has been subject to relatively little elaboration in a transnational optic. Yet, there is a remarkable potential in using home, literally and metaphorically, as a prism to investigate migrant ability to retain, circulate and emplace significant aspects of the “other worlds” they are connected to, while being physically away from them. The typical dilemmas of migrant transnationalism and some new conceptual developments out of a homemaking lens are eventually discussed.
Keywords: Transnationalism – Home – Calling home – Feeling at home – Making home – Emplacing home – Portability – Materiality