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International Perspectives on Culture, Identity, and Belonging

Margarethe Kusenbach and Krista E. Paulsen

This book presents fourteen original contributions by authors examining the importance of dwellings and local communities in people’s everyday lives. Through qualitative research conducted in North America and Europe, the volume explores the ways in which home is created both ideally and practically, at levels ranging from individual housing units to neighborhoods and public spaces. Even when the circumstances of making one’s home deviate from cultural ideals – for instance, in crowded, institutional, or stigmatized housing contexts, in disadvantaged or transient neighborhoods, or when one has no permanent dwelling at all – the authors illuminate how experiences and practices of home are central to what it means to be human.

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Acknowledgments

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          A book with fourteen chapters written by sixteen people  is unquestion‑ ably  a  collaborative  project.  Our  first  round  of  appreciation,  therefore,  goes to the contributors to this volume who have been most enthusiastic  and patient during the over two years that have passed since they were  first  invited  to  participate. We’re  very pleased with  the  originality  and  overall quality of each chapter. All authors also participated in the peer  review  process  for  which  they  deserve  thanks.  Since  only  three  of  the  contributors live in the same city, and this doesn’t even include the two  editors,  the  book’s  coordination  across  geographic  distances  and  time  zones was a bit of a challenge at times, yet we managed with the help of  modern technologies and everyone’s goodwill.   Next in line, we thank Skyler Lauderdale, sociology Ph.D. student  extraordinaire at the University of South Florida, for his skilled assistance  with the initial round of copy‑editing and formatting chapters during the  fall  semester  of  2012.  We  also  extend  gratitude  to  our  friend  and  colleague Melinda Milligan, Sonoma State University, who assisted with  the book in its early stages. Hubert Knoblauch, Technical University Ber‑ lin, and Bernt Schnettler, Bayreuth University, deserve a firm handshake  because they encouraged the idea of editing a book and offered practical  experiences along  the way. The  friendliness and professionalism of our  publishers in Germany, Benjamin Kloss and Richard Breitenbach, were a  great source of relief.   Furthermore,  we  would  like  to  thank  our  friends  and  faculty  colleagues at the University of...

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