Home has also to do with the materiality of certain objects in everyday life. What are the typical meanings and functions of these objects, and how far do they work as affordances for homemaking, among international migrants? Pérez-Murcia and Boccagni address these questions in a new article in the Journal of Intercultural Studies, drawing on HOMInG’s fieldwork into Peruvian and Ecuadorian migration in Europe.
Luis Eduardo Pérez Murcia & Paolo Boccagni (2022) Do Objects (Re)produce Home among International Migrants? Unveiling the social functions of domestic possessions in Peruvian and Ecuadorian migration, Journal of Intercultural Studies, DOI: 10.1080/07256868.2022.2063825
Ordinary objects can play a significant role in the making and reproduction of home, as an emplaced set of emotions, memories and relationships, among international migrants. Based on qualitative research with Ecuadorians and Peruvians in Britain, Italy and Spain, we show how certain objects, by virtue of their evocative power, help migrants to transform their dwelling places into homely environments (home making), and/or retain connections with what used to be home for them (home reproduction). We develop a framework on the potential of objects for home making and reproduction along four lines: embodying migrants’ collective backgrounds and identities; affording migrants to feel at home; encapsulating the memories and symbols of former homes, households, and significant relationships; eliciting connections with settings and events that meant ‘home’ over their life course. Such functions hold a promise to guide comparative research on migration-related materialities and on migrant transnational homemaking.
Keywords: Transnational migration – Everyday objects – Homemaking – Ecuadorians – Peruvians