Housing our Selves: An Ethnography of Active Inhabitation.
The DFG funded research project is an ethnographic study of the activities that are involved in producing spaces of dwelling and ideas of home. Scholarship from the social sciences, philosophy and literature tells us much about the symbolic meanings attached to spaces of dwelling, but there is a need for research that documents and brings clarity to the ways that a physical building is transformed into a space of dwelling imbued with meaning and symbolism. The proposed research methods consist of ethnographies of two residential buildings that will be newly built and renovated during the initial phases of the research. Ethnographies will be conducted of the apartments and inhabitants of each building including interviews before moving into the new apartments, during the process of moving and one-year after inhabiting the new spaces. The research will document and explain the concrete activities involved in transforming bricks-and-mortar into the affective, emotional and symbolic spaces of home.