The meaning of home in Romania: views from urban owner–occupiers

Soaita, A. M. (2015) The meaning of home in Romania: views from urban owner–occupiers. Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, 30(1), pp. 69-85. (doi: 10.1007/s10901-014-9396-3)

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The post-communist privatisation of state flats to sitting tenants has transformed Romania into a nation of homeowners; yet its popularity appears perplexing given the poor quality of the stock and disappointing, given flat-owners’ subsequent lack of action regarding home improvement. Conversely, self-builders’ proactive agency moved them up the housing ladder. While this striking contrast draws attention to various structural conditions, which have constrained the former and enabled the latter, it also raises intriguing questions on residents’ meanings of home. By interrogating 48 homeowners’ narratives, this paper sustains the multilayered and multi-scalar meanings of home, which intertwine the socio-cultural territory of family and nation; the physical frame of one room or several dwellings; the emotional domain of object-memories; and the ontological realm epitomised by something as minimal as ‘my bed’. Findings demonstrate that flat-owners and self-builders do not significantly differ in their meanings of home but detached houses rather than flats facilitate more fully their appropriation.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Soaita, Dr Adriana Mihaela
Authors: Soaita, A. M.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:Journal of Housing and the Built Environment
ISSN (Online):1573-7772
Published Online:05 February 2014
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media
First Published:First published in Journal of Housing and the Built Environment 30(1): 69-85
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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