Diasporic Housing and the Valuing of Home
Wagner, L. (2023). Diasporic Housing and the Valuing of Home. In P. Boccagni (Ed.), Handbook on Home and Migration (pp. 328–37). Edward Elgar Publishing. https://www.elgaronline.com/edcollchap/book/9781800882775/book-part-9781800882775-38.xml.
The value of a home can be found in the meanings and significance it holds for those who own or occupy it, in how it reflects their private and familial lives. Its value can be understood through the sense of security it represents, as a safe haven from the surrounding world. But homes are also houses, built structures which hold financial value and are embedded in specific places and communities. Their exchangeable value can fluctuate along with the neighbourhood where they are located, and along with their physical condition and the effort they reflect by owners and occupants to maintain them. In contexts of transnational migration, many migrants and other diasporically-connected individuals invest both in homes outside their ancestral homeland and homes ‘at home’. The value of a home ‘at home’ is not only through to the connection it serves for them to a homeland, but also in their investment in it as a functioning house. This chapter takes a closer look at the value of diasporically-owned homes as housing, and the intersections between the value of significance such homes hold for their owners and the value of practical investments they make in maintaining them as houses.