HOMInG’s Paolo Boccagni and Jan Willem Duyvendak (University of Amsterdam) have recently published a book chapter on Making home within the edited collection Pragmatic inquiry: Critical concepts for social sciences, edited by J.R. Bowen, N.Dodier, J.W. Duyvendak, A. Hardon, Routledge, 2020.
See below the abstract of their chapter, and the presentation of the book.
By Paolo Boccagni, Jan Willem Duyvendak
In both anthropology and sociology, many scholars have dealt with shifting boundaries between the formal and informal, the private and the public, and the domestic and the extra-domestic. And more often than not, they did not deal with these dichotomies just descriptively; they used them in a highly normative way. The complex and ambiguous interplay between the private and the public can be helpfully revisited, in view, through the notions of home and homing. Sociologically, home stands not only for one or more distinctive places but also for a meaningful social relationship being enacted with(in) them, with all of the aggregate consequences in inter-group relations and societally. As a social experience, however, home is not fundamentally defined by any particular location. It is rather based on a tentative and emplaced attribution of special emotions to specific socio-spatial settings.
This book examines a range of critical concepts that are central to a shift in the social sciences toward “pragmatic inquiry,” reflecting a twenty-first century concern with particular problems and themes rather than grand theory.
Taking a transnational and transdisciplinary approach, the collection demonstrates a shared commitment to using analytical concepts for empirical exploration and a general orientation to research that favors an attention to objects, techniques, and practices. The chapters draw from broad-based and far-reaching social theory in order to analyze new, specific challenges, from grasping the everyday workings of markets, courtrooms, and clinics, to inscribing the transformations of practice within research disciplines themselves. Each contributor takes a key concept and then explores its genealogies and its circulations across scholarly communities, as well as its proven payoffs for the social sciences and, often, critical reflections on its present and future uses.
This carefully crafted volume will significantly expand and improve the analytical repertoires or toolkits available to social scientists, including scholars in sociology or anthropology and those working in science and technology studies, public health, and related fields.