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Home, home ownership and the search for ontological security.

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The Sociological Review, 46(1), 24-47

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Dupuis and Thorns explore the concept of home and home ownership in relation to ontological security.

They delve into the psychological and sociological aspects of what home means to individuals and how owning a home contributes to a sense of security, identity, and belonging. This is important not just for individuals but also from a national perspective, as the paper explains ideology of home ownership has been a central component shaping policies and practices in New Zealand. The authors argue that home ownership is not just an economic decision but is deeply intertwined with the need for ontological security – the fundamental human need for stability, continuity, and order in one’s life. The paper uses interviews with 53 Pākehā respondents to explore how homes are not merely physical structures but are imbued with emotional and symbolic meanings that contribute to an individual’s sense of self and place in the world. Therefore, while the paper does not have a Māori focus, it provides useful information about how housing is understood from the mainstream viewpoint. Dupuis and Thorns also discuss the policy implications of their findings, particularly in relation to housing policies and the societal emphasis on home ownership.

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