Bringing together the voices of nine individuals from an archive of over two hundred in-depth interviews with transnational migrants and refugees across five European countries, Finding Home in Europe, a new book edited by Luis Eduardo Pérez Murcia and Sara Bonfanti, critically engages with how home is experienced by those who move among changing social and cultural constraints.
Highly conscious of the political strength of their voices, migrants and asylum seekers speak out loud to the authors, as this volume seeks to challenge the narrative that these people are ‘out of place’ or cannot claim their right to belong.
“Through a series of richly etched and complex life stories of mobility, displacement and home, the book offers a captivating and insightful journey into migrants’ search for home on the move negotiating roots and routes, and the struggles and challenges they face in doing so both in the public and domestic arena, including around practices of food preparation and sharing.”
Nando Sigona, Professor of International Migration and Displacement, University of Birmingham, UK.
“This is an ambitious exploration of the struggles and journeys of ‘home’ as it is sought for and experienced by migrants and refugees settling in Europe. The volume impresses with its conceptual scrutiny and width of multiple disciplinarity that together highlight the migrants’ diverse meanings and experiences of home or the lack of it, and how these are traversed on the move.
The authors’ commitment to ethnographic longitudinal studies and individual biographies brings us close up to concrete life stories and life as it is lived travelling from place to place, thus challenging and extending our knowledge, understanding, empathy, senses and tastes of homes left behind, homes in the making, and homes aspired for – all so much useful for making our communities open for the homes of everyone.”
Anne S. Grønseth, Professor in Social Anthropology, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, NO
“This unique and highly original contribution to the study of migration and homemaking builds on the long-term and collaborative research of an interdisciplinary team of sociologists, anthropologists and development researchers. With remarkable attention to ethnographic detail, the book engages with the moving life stories of nine diverse migrants from Asia, Africa and Latin America now living in Europe.
What makes this volume particularly compelling is how it weaves together sophisticated theorizing of home and migration with the lived, felt and narrated experiences of making home under often very difficult conditions. The volume strongly enriches our understanding of how searching, struggling and sustaining to belong is located in the precarious idea of home.”
Julia Pauli, Professor in Cultural Anthropology, University of Hamburg, DE
“Finding Home in Europe: Chronicles of Global Migrants is a feast of stories and analysis, carefully curated in relation to the authors’ two kinds of intended reader: academic social scientists and the public at large.
Skilfully using a combination of oral history and ethnography, each of the nine main chapters is woven around the life story of one of the two hundred people who participated in a large-scale, four-year research project investigating searches for and struggles over home. The chapters are distinct from each other, each illuminating a specific theme. Impressively, they are at the same time scholarly and highly readable, evidencing long periods of thinking and analysis, as well as collaboration between chapter author and life story narrator (some of whom double as photographer/illustrator).
This is an ambitious book and a rewarding read. The editors’ substantial Introduction locates the work at the intersection of several academic disciplines, and enticingly sets up the chronicles that follow as lying between fact and fiction. Three subsequent reviews serve to introduce each of the three main sections of the book, the last of which explores the sensuous worlds of food and cooking and their relations to home. While in many ways a beautiful book, the academic authors and their collaborating oral history narrators are not romantic.
Finding Home in Europe: Chronicles of Global Migrants is simultaneously both a book of individual stories and a critical analysis of how structural inequalities, including class, racisms and patriarchy and the legacies of European colonialism both shape and are occasionally subverted by the lives chronicled in its pages.”
Ben Rogaly, Professor of Human Geography, University of Sussex, UK
Until 8 April 2023 Berghahn offers a 50% discount on orders of the hardback for personal use placed directly via Berghahn Book’s webpage, using the code PERE8508.