Housing, Home and Society

  • Stuart Lowe


The idea of ‘home’ is universally and instinctively understood. Home is the place where we are most able to be ourselves, where we accumulate the clutter of daily life, tend to and protect our most treasured possessions and where we invariably experience, for better or worse, our most intimate and deeply felt relationships. As the well-known aphorism has it, ‘Home is where the heart is’, implying that it may not be a fixed place and not necessarily relating to a dwelling place. People who have lived abroad, for decades, may refer to the idea of ‘coming home’, a return to an intuitively understood haven in a hostile world. This, then, is the first lesson about the concept of home; that it is defined not only on its own terms but also in relation to a wider society ‘out there’. ‘Home’ and ‘not home’ are the opposite sides of a single social entity.


Middle Class Home Ownership Housing Tenure Front Door Internet Banking 
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Further Reading

  1. Chapman, T. and Hockey, J. (eds) (1999) Ideal Homes? Social Change and Domestic Life, London, Routledge.Google Scholar
  2. Forster, E. M. (1910) Howards End, London, Edward Arnold; various edns, Harmondsworth, Penguin.Google Scholar
  3. Ravetz, A. with Turkington, R. (1995) The Place of Home: English Domestic Environments, 1914–2000, London, E. & F. N. Spon.Google Scholar
  4. Rybczynski, W. (1986) Home: A Short History of an Idea, New York, Viking Penguin, paperback edn, Pocket Books, 2001.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Stuart Lowe 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stuart Lowe

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