Creating a new home : Somali, Iraqi and Turkish Immigrants and their homes in Danish Social Housing
Publication: Research - peer-review › Journal article
Housing research is increasingly focusing on how different groups of residents use their dwelling and transform it into a home. In this article, we look at the homes of immigrants in Danish social housing. The article is based on qualitative interviews with Somali, Iraqi and Turkish immigrants, and it includes a review of the literature regarding the home in general, as well as a discussion on the home for immigrants. Literature argues that the home and the meaning of the dwelling are socially constructed rather than depending on universal human needs. This means that immigrants from other cultures might find another meaning in the concept of 'home' than their Danish neighbours. Thus the main issue for our research is to ascertain the extent to which immigrants are able to identify with their dwelling and to establish 'home' in Danish social housing. Does the meaning of the dwelling amongst immigrants differ from the one we know from other residents? And to what degree does the physical framework of Danish social housing support or maybe conflict with regard to immigrants' expectations, traditions and routines. Our analysis suggests that the home is as important for immigrants as for their neighbouring residents and that immigrants often attach the same affordances to the home. Our analysis also shows that the establishment of home requires time and that the length of time depends on the number of good experiences when settling in Denmark.