INHABITING THE PLACES AND NON-PLACES OF A RESIDENTIAL HOME: A CASE STUDY FROM NEW ZEALAND

Ruth Fitzgerald, Linda Robertson

Abstract


This study is based on interviews with the residents of two aged care facilities in southern New Zealand which explored the residents’ concept of home. Home proved to be an ambiguous and polysemous concept and was used by the residents in several different ways to refer to both their current and their past circumstances. Noticeable differences in the residents’ perception of the ‘homeliness’ of each institution as well as in the general ethos of each care facility were observed during the course of the study. However, both groups of residents were generally very positive about residential life. Residents and staff were found to act as though one facility was rather like a hotel and the other, a home. These different understandings of institutional space are explained through reference to Marc Augé’s notion of non-place and place.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11157/sites-vol3iss1id40