The Dynamics of Localizing Home in Foreign Territories. Perspectives on Home-making and Media-related Practices among Migrant Households

Dag Slettemeås


This article explores perspectives and concepts for examining processes of migrant home-construction and meaning-making, and the role of media technologies in these dynamics. The household figures as the main locus of orientation, while theoretical perspectives on domestication and practice provide novel frames for understanding migrant everyday living and media relations, reaffirming a place-based analytical orientation. The justification for focusing on homes and local places, and on anchoring experiences in daily household activities and routines, is not to avoid aspects of distant connectivity, symbolic attachment and cultural identification to other spaces. Rather, the perspectives employed anchor these aspects in situated, place-based practices and orientations, and the analysis empirically grounds a multi-dimensional understanding of home-construction. In brief, the article argues that any apparent disconnection from place is still heavily entangled in place-based practices, contingencies, moralities and constraints. Implied in this reorientation is a suggested movement away from methodological nationalism towards everyday perceptions and practices, avoiding a bounded, essentialistic and conflated conception of identity, community and culture. The theoretical and empirical investigation suggests opening up the proposed conceptual apparatus in order to better encapsulate the complexity and multi-dimensionality of migrant everyday living.


Media technology, migrants, household, domestication, practice, place

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