- Commuting partners, dual residences and the meaning of home.
- Journal of Environmental Psychology
- Volume | Issue number
- 29 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
The experience of home is one of the most basic of daily-life experiences. Traditionally, the home is grounded in a specific place; in commuter partnerships, however, for part of the time one partner lives near the workplace and away from the family residence. This paper provides insight into the sense of home that relates to the dual-residence situation of a commuter partnership. The meaning of the residence near the workplace is analysed through three dimensions: material, activity patterns, and social. We further classified each dimension in a continuum of meanings of space, place or home. Empirical evidence comes from in-depth interviews with 30 commuter couples in the Netherlands. The results show that the material dimension is most often used to create a sense of home. The activity patterns are primarily focused on the job. The social dimension is the most difficult way of experiencing a home because there is yet a strong relationship between being with one's family and experiencing a sense of home. As a result, many feel as living two separated lives: a work life and a private life. Only a small minority experiences the commuter dwelling as a home away from home in all its three dimensions.
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