Publication details

”How to wind the clock of the day?” Solo living phenomena and the various stabilities of home

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Year of publication 2016
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Home Cultures: The Journal of Architecture, Design and Domestic Space
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Field Sociology, demography
Keywords home; domesticity; Deleuze and Guattari; affordance approach; solo-living; narrative; Czech Republic
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Description The domestic home is usually theorized as negotiated and structured space-time and as an emotional attachment to people and places. However, the increasing number of people living on their own brings about the question of how home is experienced, embodied, and narrated by solo-living individuals, especially in terms of ordering and stability under the flexible and fluid nature of some other realms, such as paid work. Following the affordance approach in studies of home, our aim is to integrate research on practices, materialities, and narratives of domestic homes. Our main question concerns how home is perceived, experienced, and performed by childless solo-living people and how they understand the stability of their dwelling—one of the main characteristics of home in social theory. To broaden this “traditional” concept of home, we build upon the emphasis on stability with the notion of flow, as presented by Deleuze and Guattari, along with the concept of boundary work, to describe the processes of delineation between these two from the level of mundane “doings.” Through in-depth interviews conducted using the go-along technique, combined with walking through the dwellings and some of the neighborhoods, we explore the ambivalence of stability, permanence, and temporariness, and the interconnection between materialities and meanings. The appropriation of space and time enables solo-living people to dwell comfortably, while also materializing and stabilizing the sometimes unwanted state of singleness or living alone. In contrast, the unfinished nature of some homes indicates a provisional state of being, pointing out that the current situation is still not satisfactory, being more open to change; however, it might lead to permanent living in unpleasant or even un-homey homes.
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