HOMInG 3 – H3: The ways of circulating home

Project three (H3) advances the empirical study of the home-migration nexus in a transnational perspective. Developing insights from the literature on social remittances, cultural diffusion and translocality, H3 analyzes, first, the dimensions of the home experience that are themselves mobile and portable in parallel with migration, and the factors accounting for their differential circulation; second, the mutual influences between home cultures and experiences in home and host societies, as stemming from the grassroots development of migrants’ cross-border networks. Through the multi-sited ethnography of migrants’ home-making practices, and by comparing immigrants’ narratives of home with those of their dear ones left behinds, H3 explores how it is that home-associated ideas, emotions, cultures and practices “travel” through migration; how far, under what conditions and for whom a sense of home can be cultivated, detached from a specific physical setting or from some form of materiality; how it is that home cultures and practices in receiving countries are affected by those of migrants’ homelands, and vice versa; how these cultural changes feed into housing practices and policies.
Empirically, HOMInG 3 is based on the multi-sited ethnography of the home cultures emerging from migrants’ domestic spaces, to be compared with the prevalent ways of identifying and organizing domestic spaces in their sending communities – in the dwelling of left-behind kin, and/or in the new houses refurbished by migrants themselves. Furthermore, long-stayers’ reported views and constructions of home will be compared with those of their non-migrants counterparts, in order to trace their mutual influences and their predominant directions and contents.

Across the relevant research settings, HOMInG’s sub-projects are focused both on informants’ ethnicity (or immigrant background) and on variables such as age, gender, length of stay and generation, all of them being also influential on the subjective experience of home. Furthermore, the three sub-projects aim to uncover the ways in which migrants’ home experience changes along their life course, parallel to their housing, family and migration careers; and at an aggregate level, on the faceted influence of migration on long-term changes in home cultures and in the ways of inhabiting and using domestic spaces.