Is Home Really Just Attachment?

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 10:30
Oral Presentation
Nathanael LAUSTER, University of British Columbia, Canada
The literature on Home as a sociologically meaningful concept could use some tidying. Attachment theory seems like a promising framework for assisting in reorganizing home, having gained wide currency in Family Studies, Child Development, and Social Psychology. Nevertheless, attachment theory's examinations of relationships between parents and children and romantic couples have also been subject to a variety of theoretical and methodological critiques in both Psychology and Sociology. Place attachment is less developed as a concept, though more associated with home, and both have also been subject to critique. Attachment to things has received comparatively little discussion outside of hoarding research. In this paper, I draw together theories of home with theories of attachment (to person, place, and thing) and seek to clarify the connections and divergences between the two concepts. I draw upon data from a multi-method study of home in Vancouver and Nunavut, Canada and from a similar study of hoarding to illustrate theoretical overlap and points of disjuncture.