Introduction: Home, Community and Identity
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This chapter provides an introductory theoretical framework that explains the complex intertwining relationship among community, home and identity as elaborated in the eleven chapters of the book. Each chapter explores the formation of different types of communities, ranging from neighborhoods, cities, nations, to sexual minority groups and virtual groups on the internet, as people develop homes through expressing and struggling with their sense of belonging and identities. All chapters collectively demonstrate human life as a social reality that reflects a tightly woven social mosaic encompassing overlapping fragments of home and communities. The framework suggests that the sense of home and community cannot easily escape the rapid expansion of urban development, human mobility, and globalization. In response, some homes have become compressed into a private, isolated, and alienated milieu but others have extended and adapted the sense of home and community by using resources at hand. Though limited, the sense of power, control, hope, and personal expression give ourselves the meaning of home through which identities are formed and where people can become. The transformation of living space and places to homes culminate in meanings and emotions we attach to them. Home then, becomes both a journey and a destiny.
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