Taking Place. The Phenomenology of Expat Spouses Famaliarisatie with a New Environment

Thumbnail Image
Issue Date
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Studies of international migration typically fail to direct attention towards migrants' individual experiences. This is especially true in the case of expat migration. This thesis argues that a humanistic geography perspective could fill this lacuna and that the discipline itself would benefit from the particular empirical angle in furthering its theoretical foundations. lt does both by examining expat spouse; specifically, the residence in Eindhoven confronts the respondents with an environmental and socio-cultural eccentricity that makes getting attached to the city problematic for them. They have therefore developed the predisposition to selectively engage with places, preferring those physically or atmospherically resembling places of their country of origin. The same intuitive preference went out to sites that are experienced through a wide range of senses. Respondents upheld an attitude of openness by fostering at-easeness thanks to the greater freedom they experienced as outsiders in E1ndhoven than as existential insiders in their home countries where they were pressured to conform with a proper public image. This proved sufficient to compensate for the lack of rootedness. Lastly, it was discovered that upon absence or withdrawal of at-homeness determinants, an apartment may mentally displace its occupant, conceding that he or she - like the respondents - has only been living in it for a relatively short period of time. As a result of such a deprivation, the house loses its quality as a centre of rest.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen