Homemaking by single person households in the northern part of the Netherlands

Joke Terlaak Poot

Research output: Working paperProfessional

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For over 30 years, the concept of home has been a popular, yet contested subject of research for scholars from different disciplines, e.g. architecture, philosophy, sociology, psychology and cultural studies. In line with this multifaceted, interesting subject, quite some studies have been devoted to the subject of homemaking.However, when reviewing the literature on home and homemaking, a great deal of scholars seems to have overlooked to date the home situation, and thus the homemaking activities and practices of single person households, or so called ‘solo livers’. This is remarkable because the number of single person households is increasing worldwide, as different recent studies show e.g. (Palmer G. , 2006), (Klinenberg, 2012), (Jamieson & Simpson, 2013). The aim of this working paper – which is part of a PhD proposal in progression – is to address the homemaking process from the perspective of solo living people in the geographical setting of the Provence of Groningen, in the northern part of the Netherlands. An underlying assumption is that by focusing on the homemaking of solo living people, i.e. on the individual level, this typical human phenomenon can be studied in its ‘purest form’.In the paper on homemaking in low-cost areas, Aziz & Ahmad (2012) connect the concepts of appropriation, attachment and identity as homemaking mechanisms, through which residents strive to achieve satisfaction and turn the surrounding area into their home. Aziz & Ahmad seek to identify specific behavioural components, called ‘attributes’, that belong to these three different concepts, in which they make a distinction between physical and social attributes. This focus of this paper is on the concept of appropriation as homemaking mechanism and how this concept can be refined to serve as conceptual framework.


  • housing
  • homemaking
  • solo livers
  • spatial appropriation
  • cognitive appropriation
  • material appropriation


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