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International Perspectives on Culture, Identity, and Belonging

Edited By 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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          Saskia Binken is a Ph.D. candidate at the OTB Research Institute for the  Built  Environment,  Delft  University  of  Technology,  The  Netherlands.  Saskia’s  research  interests  include urban  sociology, public  space,  exclu‑ sion  and  marginalization,  belonging,  ethnicity,  youth,  and  safety.  Her  ongoing  research  focuses  on  various  patterns  of  use  and  meaning  of  public  space  in  a  socially  and  ethnically  mixed  urban  setting  and  is  partly  funded  by  the  NICIS  Institute/Platform  31.  She  recently  co‑ authored  (with  Talja  Blokland)  the  article  “Why  Repressive  Policies  Towards  Urban  Youths  Do  Not  Make  Streets  Safe:  Four  Hypotheses”  published in The Sociological Review.     Talja Blokland  is  Professor  in Urban  and Regional  Sociology  at Hum‑ boldt University, Berlin, and holds a Guest Senior Researcher position at  the OTB Research Institute for the Built Environment, Delft University of  Technology,  The  Netherlands.  Recent  publications  include  the  article  “Facing Violence” (for which she received the SAGE 2008 Best Article in  Sociology  Award),  and  the  books  Urban  Bonds  (Polity  2003)  and  Net‑ worked Urbanism (Ashgate 2008), co‑edited with Mike Savage.    Kurt Borchard is Professor of Sociology at the University of Nebraska at  Kearney. His research areas include cultural studies, ethnography, Holo‑ caust studies, homelessness, and symbolic interaction. He is the author of  The Word on the Street: Homeless Men in Las Vegas (2005), and Homeless in  Las Vegas: Stories  from  the Street  (2011),  each published by University of  Nevada Press. He serves on the Advisory Board of Humanity and Society.    Gabriela B. Christmann  is head of the research department “Dynamics  of...

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