Book Chapter

Ambivalence, Autonomy, and Children and Young People’s Belonging or not in Home Spaces



Wilson S (2016) Ambivalence, Autonomy, and Children and Young People’s Belonging or not in Home Spaces. In: Punch S, Vanderbeck R R & Skelton T (eds.) Families, Intergenerationality, and Peer Group Relations. Geographies of Children and Young People, 5. Singapore: Springer Singapore, pp. 1-19.

Drawing on two case studies relating to both relatively “ordinary” and more difficult family circumstances, this chapter explores the spatial, sensory, and material contexts of Minority World children’s and young people’s belonging in “home” spaces. The chapter illustrates how belonging may be associated with more diverse and less conventional home spaces and, further, how sensory experience is important to feeling “at home,” or at least comfortable, in different environments. The importance of objects, including “keepsakes” and those providing access to digital resources and music, is also highlighted. In particular, in more difficult circumstances, these items may help to construct a feeling of security and to “display” connections to family members who live elsewhere. These items often also provide avenues to imagining the future. Throughout, the ambivalence and possibilities of autonomy typically incorporated within ordinary feelings of belonging are highlighted alongside the difficulties sometimes associated with more painful feelings of non-belonging.

Children; Young people; (Non-)Belonging; Home; Ambivalence; Autonomy

Title of seriesGeographies of Children and Young People
Number in series5
Publication date31/12/2016
PublisherSpringer Singapore
Publisher URL…81-4585-92-7_4-1
Place of publicationSingapore

People (1)


Dr Sarah Wilson

Dr Sarah Wilson

Senior Lecturer, Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology