Paolo Boccagni and Stefania Yapo have recently published an article on “homemaking in transition” among international students in Home Cultures, a pioneering journal in interdisciplinary social research on home. See details and abstract below.
International Students and Homemaking in Transition: Locating Home on the Threshold between Ascription and Achievement
Paolo Boccagni, Stefania Yapo
Home Cultures, 2022
How do young people such as international students understand home, and “where” do they locate it, upon their transition into adulthood? Building on in-depth interviews with forty students in a dorm in Northern Italy, we explore their home-university transition, and the attendant relocations of home, at two levels: in everyday life environments, related to their material and dwelling circumstances, and in their self-narratives, which reveal a fundamental translation of home from spatial into temporal terms. We understand these spatial and temporal relocations of home in terms of continuity, situatedness, in-betweenness and open-endedness. By unpacking the students’ balancing acts between “ascribed” and “achieved” homes, we contribute to the debate on homemaking as a combination between fixed references and temporary or portable affordances, and on the routines and tactics whereby young people mediate the contrasting pressures of family expectations and individual self-realization. Even in transiency, the narrated and lived experience of home illuminates the students’ aspirations and concerns as they struggle to position themselves between different countries, social roles and biographical stages, from a particular accommodation in the here-and-now.