A Place Called Home

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This article reviews literature on the concept of 'place' and discusses its relevance to housing research. The article begins by providing a working definition of place before embarking upon an examination of the connections between place and identity. The nature of such attachments to place is examined through the work of Martin Heidegger (1973) and Pierre Bourdieu (1979). The relationship between place attachment and the volatile political-economy of place construction is subsequently discussed. The paper then continues with an outline of the importance of the concept of 'place' for housing researchers and concludes with some suggestions for further research. While discussions about 'place' have been a key preoccupation of geographers for some decades, housing researchers have barely touched on the subject. Yet, at the present time - a time of increasing migration, expanding urbanization, and swelling investments in place-construction (ranging from individual real-estate sales to city and regional re-developments) - the importance of the concept of place for housing researchers has come to the fore. The literature on 'place', especially the literature which sees 'home' as a particularly significant type of place, provides insight into the relationship between places and people's identities and psychological well-being; the dynamics of conflicts surrounding home-places; and the political-economy of home places. It also points to the need for a more integrated approach to housing research that looks beyond the scale of individual households to the regional, national and international scale.
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Easthope, H
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