Home as the Place in the Heart: Emotional Investments of Housing in Slovenia

Ramšak, Mojca (Articol)

“Dwelling is a house or other building, a place of living, but this place is also much more than a point in space. Emotional effects of buying the first real estate, changing the dwelling and accommodating to new environment are to a certain extent measurable responses to new life circumstances. Emotional strategies of changing the residence are important, because they are usually connected with spending the biggest amount of money and the biggest debt in one’s life and are interlaced with culturally dependant notion of home. Buying the apartment or house and moving from one dwelling to another are frustrations that have influence on the lives of next of kin or friends one live with, and at the same time they can represent the feeling of ultimate fulfilling. The research is based partly on auto ethnographic method; stories of people I was listening to when I was buying the apartment in 2003, my own story, and stories which were collected later in 2008 before the financial shocks of autumn of the same year, when prices in the housing market fell also in Slovenia. Richly nuanced narratives of buying the dwelling are from Slovene mid-range people who were around thirty years old when they were buying their first dwelling, they all had university education, they were employed permanently or for part time, they had average or little above average incomes by Slovene standards, and to all of them buying the apartment or house in the city was a huge financial burden and a great personal engagement. Long-felt desires and needs for having their own home together with raising the quality of live are the main stress on one side, and on the other, several forms of mutual help and emotional strategies that were accompanying purchase, removing, furnishing, accustoming to environment and neighbors.”

Cuvinte cheie: Couple, Habitat, Household, Housing, Ownership, and Slovenia

Revista de etnografie și folclor / Journal of Ethnography and Folklore

2010, nr. 1-2