Journal Article

Feeling at home across time and place: A study of Ecuadorians in three European cities

Published 12 February 2021 / By Paolo Boccagni & Carlos Vargas‐Silva

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Introduction

International migration creates significant dilemmas for people to feel at home or not and a meaningful field to investigate this emotional experience. Using a cross‐country survey of Ecuadorians in Madrid, Milan and London (n = 1093), we explore how spatial, relational, infrastructural and emotional variables influence the sense of feeling at home in a place. We link these aspects to length of residence and the location's ‘connectedness’ to Ecuador. Immigrants' sense of feeling at home increases over time, regardless of location or scale. However, feeling at home is positively associated with the location's connectedness to Ecuador. The importance of social relations (especially inviting friends) and infrastructural characteristics for feeling at home in a place also increases over time, contrary to the influence of nostalgic homeland reminders. Overall, Ecuadorians attach a sense of home to their local context of settlement, more than to their homeland. Results are remarkably similar across genders.

Citation

Boccagni, P. & Vargas‐Silva, C. (2021) Feeling at home across time and place: A study of Ecuadorians in three European cities, Population, Space and Place, Wiley Online Library; https://doi.org/10.1002/psp.2431