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Home Remaking: An architectural study of home in diaspora in contemporary Britain with particular reference to the lives of Iranian women

Rezaei Rashnoodi, Shima (2018) Home Remaking: An architectural study of home in diaspora in contemporary Britain with particular reference to the lives of Iranian women. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This research explores the ways in which Iranian women make their diasporic home in the context of the Great Britain. It sheds light on a rarely discussed area of Iranian diaspora in the UK and particularly of their home. At the meantime through the study of home in diaspora, it points out the lack of architectural discussions in the current home literature, urging for investigations that situate homemaking, memory, identity and gender within the spatial dimensions of home. Therefore, this thesis aims to fill the gap between the studies of home in architecture and humanities, emphasising on developing a framework for the study of home with an interdisciplinary approach to examine the ways in which Iranian women situate their identity by the way they make their diasporic homes. The everyday space of the Iranian home, as well as the Iranian diasporic home, is analysed with a particular focus on the ways that these spaces accommodate cultural/religious modalities. Additionally, the importance of this study is designated by highlighting the lack of studies on Iranian female interactions with their home spaces, specific to their homemaking approaches. The transient nature of these diasporic homes as an embodiment of female identity provides a unique situation to be examined in relation to the notions of gender, culture and homemaking. To address this complexity, with the help of the theoretical studies, home is described as a place that embodies dialectic notions of real/ideal, one/other and tangible and intangible. Therefore, to be able to study home within those contradictory notions a theoretical framework is developed that responds to the necessity of examining home within an interdisciplinary study in relation to gender and identity conceptions. Hence, a combination of feminist and phenomenological theories are applied to deconstruct the conventional dualistic conceptions employed in current home studies by defining home as a space of in-between. As a result, a framework of tangible, intangible and the in-between elements is proposed for the formulation of an architectural methodology to provide an understanding of the making of Iranian home in diaspora. It is within this framework that the atmosphere of home is discussed across different disciplines and is examined as a possible approach to homemaking in diaspora. The research is developed through a phenomenological study of Iranian home that introduces hierarchy, hospitality and cleanliness as spatial/cultural themes under the dialectical notions of Zaher and Baten in Iranian culture. The feminist and phenomenological theories were incorporated into mixed qualitative methods such as in-depth interviews, focus groups and visual analysis. Ultimately, the contribution of this thesis is a proposed architectural methodology for the study of home and homemaking that is incremental as well as holistic. The formulated framework is a combination of tangible, intangible and in-between elements that encompasses spatial/cultural elements of Iranian home. The contribution is two-fold one being, the substantive aspects: that contribute to the topic of inquiry by developing a theoretical framework, representing a deeper understanding of home, the concept of home in diaspora and particularly the experience of Iranian home. And other contribution is the methodological aspects proposing a framework of methodology for the study of home that can be replicable and scalable. It is concluded in this thesis that the study of home with an architectural evaluation is achieved, only if it is situated in a context that acknowledges subjective experience, memory of space, identity and gender while signifying its indispensable tangible aspects.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Architecture (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Mrs Shima Rezaei Rashnoodi
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2018 15:05
Last Modified: 30 Jul 2018 15:05
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/20973

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