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Home making and sense of community among migrants in Sydney apartments

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posted on 2022-10-06, 02:48 authored by Anthonia Dumebi Soligbo

There is a growing interest in how migrants create home in new places and how they become part of their new society. While a growing number of Australians live in apartments, many studies have linked the understandings of home, home making practices and experiences of community to the type of dwelling an individual resides in.  

This research explored understandings of home, home making practices and sense of community among migrants living in apartments in Zetland. Using a mixed methodology approach, this research thesis uses the perception and experiences of migrants residing on high density apartments in Zetland to analyse the creation of home in new places and what shape the process of belonging takes. These experiences were then compared with the objectives of community housing providers.  

This research reveals the complex and multifaceted nature of home and sense of community. Findings from this research reveal family attachment and security as central to migrants’ feelings of home and their home making practices. Home encompasses how a person feels in their own residence and how they feel in the city/country in which they live. It follows that creating home for migrants is a multi-stage process that starts within the physical dwelling space and progresses to forming new relationships and seeking a sense of community.  

While housing providers aim to encourage vibrant communities through apartment designs, findings illustrate that apartment design has little influence on the home making practices of migrants. This is because, migrants home making practices are not limited to their domestic spaces. Insights from the understanding of these practices can inform future planning and development decisions. 


Table of Contents

Chapter one introduction -- Chapter two literature review -- Chapter three methodology -- Chapter four home making and apartments -- Chapter five sense of community -- Chapter six discussion and conclusion -- Reference list -- Appendix I: Ethics approval letters -- Appendix II: Online survey questions -- Appendix III: Interview questions -- Appendix IV: Survey invitation letter -- Appendix V: Interview consent letter


A thesis submitted to Macquarie University in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Research (MRes)

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


Thesis (MRes), Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Geography and Planning, 2020

Department, Centre or School

Department of Geography and Planning

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Kristian Ruming


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