Language Issue
Residential Space and Culture: Towards House and Home Anthropology
Residential Space and Culture: Towards House and Home Anthropology
Issue 52

By Dr Bin Muammar Abdullah, Lecturer at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Tlemcen, Algeria

Space is one of the anthropological fields within social and cultural anthropology. Anthropology approaches space starting with the basic premise that space has human dimensions because it carries the values of the community and reflects its culture.

Space does not exist in itself as an a priori fact as the philosopher Kant claimed, but rather as a cultural product that is shaped, conceived and organised by individuals who do not belong to same civilisation or culture. 

The anthropology of space is primarily the anthropology of residential space. What we know about space in general applies to this type of space, which has been the subject of several anthropological and non-anthropological approaches.

The anthropology of space is of interest in several disciplines including architecture, philosophy and sociology. The most important approach that I apply to the anthropology of space is the multi-faceted cultural theory of the home/house. 

The house/home has many connotations because it is the realisation of existence. The home/house is a space of freedom and independence, a space of privacy and intimacy, a space of comfort and stability, and an achievement of social presence, and home is related to the social environment.