what does "home" mean?
November 17, 2018 1:50 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for things to read on the concept of home -- what makes for feeling that one is at home, how people identify places as their homes, psychology behind it, what meaning people ascribe to it, how people feel at home in transient situations, etc. Non-fiction, books, articles, fiction -- anything!
posted by aaanastasia to Media & Arts (19 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
The Death of the Hired Man by Robert Frost.
posted by beagle at 2:26 PM on November 17, 2018 [3 favorites]

A pertinent term of art is psychogeography.
posted by carmicha at 2:47 PM on November 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

I found Home: A Short History of An Idea by Witold Rybczynski very readable and interesting.
posted by jessamyn at 2:50 PM on November 17, 2018 [4 favorites]

The Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard
posted by fritillary at 2:54 PM on November 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

How about a song? Billy Joel's "You're My Home"
posted by NoraCharles at 3:07 PM on November 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

Lots of good answers to a similar question I asked.
posted by headnsouth at 3:56 PM on November 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

I have not read it yet, but my MIL bought me this book when I was in the hospital earlier this year and I’m looking forward to getting to it in my to-read pile.
posted by Ruki at 5:25 PM on November 17, 2018

The Bone People by Keri Hulme is very much about the idea of home and its complicated nature, but it’s not an especially easy or pleasant read.
posted by Diagonalize at 5:50 PM on November 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson
posted by jrobin276 at 6:30 PM on November 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

A useful keyword might be "third culture kid" - I am one, and figuring out what Home means (passport culture vs used to culture) was a big part of figuring out who I am as a grown up.
posted by freethefeet at 7:43 PM on November 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

Becky Chambers’s science fiction books are about home and what it means. The last book, Record of a Spaceborn Few, is especially an exploration of the topic, but they all carry the theme in different ways.

Space-centered science fiction tends to deal consistently with this as a theme. There’s a lot of this in Scalzi’s books, especially the newer Interdependency books.
posted by jeoc at 7:59 PM on November 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

Another song recommendation: This Must be the Place (Naive Melody) by Talking Heads

posted by ejs at 3:55 PM on November 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

I came to recommend Bryson. His book is a history of the home through the ages, organized by each room found in houses today. It definitely gives you a sense of how the concept of home has changed. For instance, in the middle ages, servants often slept at the foot of the bed. The concept of a bed, chair, or silverware is shockingly new. And so on. It's fascinating reading, and it's Bryson, so it's really funny.
posted by xammerboy at 6:31 PM on November 18, 2018

You might find something of interest in looking into the German concept of 'Heimat'. It's not really translatable into English, being much broader than 'home' and even 'home place' and 'homeland' and has been a subject that many writers in German return to often.
posted by o seasons o castles at 3:12 AM on November 19, 2018

Response by poster: Thank you all! Looking forward to reading through these!
posted by aaanastasia at 9:11 AM on November 19, 2018

Two definitions of home that I like:

- home is where someone runs to greet you
- home is where you can be the most yourself
posted by Amy NM at 8:45 AM on December 3, 2018

A little late but The Making of Home was great.
posted by zvs at 3:08 PM on December 4, 2018

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