The Battle of the Balconies—Scandinavian Sameness and Urban-Domestic Boundaries

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Urban-domestic boundaries mediate social relations and encounters between the private and public spheres. Recent literature stresses that such boundaries are fluid rather than fixed and that, despite the physical layers that divide domestic space from urban space, domestication can occur everywhere in urban space. In this paper, I build on such dynamic approaches to domestication, but by focusing on balconies, I propose redirecting the focus to the role of materiality and the built environment in domestication processes. Based on architectural-anthropological fieldwork in three Danish housing blocks, I analyze who can domesticate and leave traces where on the urban-domestic boundary and how the materiality of the built environment takes part in such domestication processes. I argue that balconies domesticate both outwards and inwards, and that battles of social identity and key Scandinavian notions of sameness are at stake in such processes.
TidsskriftHome Cultures
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)171-192
StatusUdgivet - 21 dec. 2022

Bibliografisk note

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© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Domestication
  • Domestic boundaries
  • Balconies
  • Sameness
  • Disadvantaged housing areas


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