Daily Practises of Home Making and Belonging Among Owner-Occupiers and Tenants in a Disadvantaged Neighbourhood in the Netherlands

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 8:45 AM
Room: 422
Oral Presentation
Peer SMETS , Sociology, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Karin SNEEP , independent scholar, Netherlands

In this period of globalisation daily practises of local home making and feeling at home are considered important. In order to illustrate such practises the focus of this paper is on a street in a disadvantaged neighbourhood in a Southern city in the Netherlands. In this street tenants and owner-occupiers with a different ethnic background – including native born - are interviewed and observed. In this natural laboratory, the street was divided into clusters; those with only tenants, those with only owner-occupiers, and those having a mix of both. This offers insight into the role class and ethnicity play in the homogeneous and mixed micro-settings and its impact on physical and social practices of home making and belonging/ feeling at home. Therefore attention is paid to narratives and the informal organization of different living spaces, territory-making activities, and practices in the different domestic clusters. This shows that the domestic space can be experienced as a vehicle of intimacy and sociability and in other clusters as encouraging alienation. Such practices can also takes place in the same cluster, resulting in mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion which in turn go together with boundaries between public, private and community spaces.