There's no place like home

Tony Chapman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For a place that is so familiar, home is peculiarly difficult to define and to research. Based on an extended review of recent literature on home, the article shows that there is no place like `home' because people construct its image in memory and imagination. Home, it is argued, is imaged on many different levels. At a surface level, home is known in terms of its location, fabric, decoration, furnishing and amenity - it is a place that is known intimately. At a deeper level, home is defined in terms of the kinds of relationships people have, or would like to have, with others inside and outside of the home. Deeper still, home is a representation of cultural identity and provides a collective sense of social permanency and security. People rarely think about home at this level, it is argued, unless reappraisal is forced upon them by a significant life event like migration between cultures or because of cultural invasion from without. The article argues for an intensification of research that starts from the domestic sphere is order to explore how home life both shapes and reflects wider social continuities and changes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-146
JournalTheory, Culture and Society
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2001


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