Purpose – This chapter revisits an archive of life-story interviews of immigrant care workers in Italy in order to map the underlying placements, meanings and emotional…
Purpose – This chapter revisits an archive of life-story interviews of immigrant care workers in Italy in order to map the underlying placements, meanings and emotional connotations of the word ‘home’ (casa). The discursive ways of using this word are connected to the respondents’ shifting life milieus and orientations towards receiving and sending societies.
Methodology – The chapter builds on the content analysis of a subset of biographical interviews of immigrant women employed in live-in care work in Italy.
Findings – Three categories emerge across respondents’ narratives. Their everyday life experience is based in Home_here-and-now (the present dwelling place) and thus depends on its often limited inclusive potential. However, their everyday life experience is also affected by the home conditions in their country of origin (Home_there-and-now) and by their recollections, understandings and revisits of the past home experience prior to migration (Home_there-and-then). These immigrant women are engaged in an ongoing balancing act between different spatial and temporal dimensions of what they frame as home. Critical to their wellbeing is the ability to keep cultivating meaningful connections with Home_there-and-now and to reproduce some patterns of Home_there-and-then.
Originality/Value – As my study suggests, their present dwelling and living conditions remain the central arena for immigrants negotiating a more inclusive sense of home. Reconstructing home-related views and practices is a good heuristic strategy for researchers to illuminate ‘biographies of belonging’ as a whole. An analytical focus on the ways of using the word ‘home’ reveals broader patterns of integration and transnational participation.