Thinking about home: place, time, and biography

Holland, Caroline (2011). Thinking about home: place, time, and biography. In: Theorizing Age: Challenging the Disciplines: 7th International Symposium on Cultural Gerontology, Inaugural Conference of the European Network in Aging Studies (ENAS), 6-9 Oct 2011, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

URL: http://www.agingstudies.eu/page/ENAS_Conference

Abstract

Everybody lives somewhere, sometime. Some people are born, live and die in the same place: for others life is a continual process of moving on. Most are somewhere in the middle, moving now and then in pursuit of a home that is practically and emotionally functional for them - part of a complicated choreography of interconnected lives and homes.

My professional (housing manager), academic, and personal life has spanned the period starting after WW2 when housing in the UK underwent dramatic changes, along with cultural understandings of who and what housing was for, and what people mean by ‘home’. Working on housing histories - biographies of people through the lens of their domiciles – I have tried to understand something of how these changes have affected people as they age. Here I reflect on researching something both this intimate and this political as, inevitably, another participant in the dance.

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