Living together in student accommodation: Performances, boundaries and homemaking
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© 2015 Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers). Recent discussions of the geographies of students have drawn attention to the trajectories of UK students electing to leave home for university. While such debates recognise these important mobilities, little has been discussed as to how students interact within their term-time accommodation. Through a qualitative study of the living arrangements of UK students, this paper will demonstrate that much can be drawn from focusing on the micro-geographies of non-local students within their term-time homes. Student accommodation is more than simply somewhere to live. Student homes are intensely dynamic places, perhaps more so than family homes as they contain multiple, disconnected identities. This research contributes to research on the geographies of the home by unpacking how house-sharers in transition interact with each other, how they transfer their identities from one home to another, how they delineate their territory and whether they integrate or withdraw within their term-time accommodation. This paper addresses this by exploring (1) how students negotiate their habitualised behaviours in shared spaces and (2) how these behaviours become spatialised through the configuration and maintenance of boundaries.
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