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Transnational Dwelling and Objects of Connection

An Ethnological Contribution to Critical Studies of Migration

Maja Povrzanovic Frykman

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Maja Povrzanovic Frykman, Irene Götz(Hg.), Johannes Moser(Hg.), Alexa Färber(Hg.), Ina Merkel(Hg.), Friedemann Schmoll(Hg.), Nevena Škrbic Alempijevic(Hg.), Transnational Dwelling and Objects of Connection (2019), Waxmann Verlag, 48159 Münster, ISSN: 2511-2473, 2019 #1, S.28

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Beschreibung / Abstract

The article argues that empirical attention should be given to migrants’ personal engagements with the materiality of transnational dwelling, notably to objects of everyday use. Such objects carried, sent and received across national borders facilitate familiar material practices that, in their turn, help the migrants to feel at home in different locations. At the same time, they lend a sense of connection between migrants, those who stayed behind and homes located in different countries. Positioned at the intersection between ethnology, migration research and studies of material culture, the article draws on Levitt and Glick Schiller’s analytical distinction between the ways of being and the ways of belonging, Bourdieu’s notion of habitus, and Hage’s discussion of hexis. It suggests that ethnographic research on mundane objects in the context of transnational dwelling can destabilize the ways migrants are thought of in terms of difference and, thereby, contribute to critical studies of migration.

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