Feminist interpretations of the home and the practice of dwelling
Crowell, Steven G.
Master of Arts
This thesis explores a resignification of the home in light of Heidegger's concept of dwelling. I begin by reviewing two opposing interpretations of the social and psychological dimensions of home: the traditional view, which sees the home as a site of comfort, refuge and centeredness, and the feminist view, which interprets the home as a site of objectification, difference and oppression. Seeking to cut through the debate, I develop an account of the home based on Heidegger's description of dwelling, which understands the home to be a manifestation of our dwelling practices. That is, the home reveals our way of being open, provisional, historical and communal. In addition to bringing this account to bear on the prior interpretations, I end the thesis with an argument against postmodern proposals of "homelessness" and explore the relationship between the home as a site of dwelling and our understanding of self.
Philosophy; Religion; Theology; Social sciences; Women's studies