Spiritual homes on the move: relational connections and creation of difference in the process of migrant “homing”

Authors: Sergei Shubin*, Swansea University, Marjory Harper, University of Aberdeen
Topics: Immigration/Transnationalism, Cultural Geography, East Europe
Keywords: Home, migration, Eastern Europe, Deleuze, multiplicity
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Evergreen, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper explores the process of creation of home as a constellation of faith and migration. Building on discussions in geography and anthropology describing home as being in-between mobile and fixed (Rapport and Dawson, 1998), hybrid (Gupta and Ferguson, 1992) entity-in-construction, the paper challenges the antimonies between place-based or placeless, real or imagined, temporary or permanent homes common in migration research. Building on the empirical results from a major long-term research project, it highlights the ways in which Eastern European migrants in Scotland are involved in construction and performance of homes through faith and movement. It draws on the work of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari (1988) to explore not only material, imagined and relational nature of spiritual homes, but also attend to performative acts of faith, affective dimensions and openness to the otherworldly being. Using the concepts of multiplicity and rhizome, it considers spirituality as a part of fluidity of homes and an uncertain movement between them. It explores fusion and heterogeneity of spiritual connections that generate different attachments and bring unexpected actors together in more or less intensive states of spiritual co-belonging “at home”. The presentation concludes with the conceptual reflections about complex and dynamic understanding of homes in migration research.

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