The social construct of home and “non-places”

The rain pours like clockwork outside. Monsoon is about on time this year, to wash away the bulge of the year’s haze and dust and busyness.

Really the perfect backdrop for this essay by Ruth Behar. It describes how the idea of home how, with 21st century travel and expansion of “non-places” (subways, airports, the “everything in between, the vast infrastructure of modern life”), the idea of home has been tested and loosened, into its truer meaning of “connection to others”. //

As ‘non-places’ expand from centres to peripheries all around the world, there is renewed pressure to work hard to prevent the home from becoming a long-term hotel room. Sentimental notions of the sanctity of the home are enlisted as a means of challenging the threat of ‘non-places.’ A preponderance of guides, including websites such as Apartment Therapy and Houzz, exist for the sole purpose of assisting us in making our homes uniquely charming and irreplaceable. Home Depot and Pier One have become the iconic commercial outlets offering practical supplies and decorative touches for these homemaking projects that alternately encourage us to be richly rococo or humbly Zen.

But there is another choice we can make, and that is to give up home altogether and be homeless by choice – not as a result of poverty or broken family ties, but to let go of the weight of the things that prevent us from fully engaging with the world and becoming true cosmopolitans, people at home everywhere.


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