Making home in the age of globalization: A comparative analysis of elderly homes in the U.S. and Korea

This study suggests an alternative model of home as a dynamic place where one’s dwelling and social world gradually meld together. The melding process as it occurs in context is highlighted. Using an ethnographic field study format, the study examined the process of making home employed by elderly residents in two institutional settings in the U.S. and Korea. Detailed field observations reveal that this dynamic process is continuously informed by larger social norms and expectations that govern intergenerational relationships and prevailing notions of individualism and collectivism. Although conventional meanings of home such as security were found, the degree of manifestations and the reasoning behind each meaning was different. The need for further cross-cultural studies and policy implications are discussed.

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