The intimate thing that makes her feel at home: An analysis of the diasporic objects of women migrants

Hong Zeng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Accelerating globalisation and transnational migration in recent decades has led to an increasing number of women migrants. This phenomenon calls for an investigation of women’s identities as migrants. This article examines women migrants’ sense of belonging through their everyday material practices. I draw on the concept of diasporic objects to examine the material objects that women migrants take with them, which function as prisms for their relationships to their national cultures. I adopt a theoretical framework of intimacy – including national intimacy, intimate culture and diasporic intimacy – to examine how women relate to their nations via a nation–family continuum. Through an analysis of 18 women migrants’ narratives about their diasporic objects, I argue that the diasporic objects of women migrants articulate their domestic and familial life and connect them with their imagined national cultures. Their concept of ‘home’ is haunted by memories of war, patriarchal oppression and authoritarianism. I conclude by discussing how they use their diasporic objects to transform the idea of home into a rooted and transitive concept.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Journal of Cultural Studies
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Dec 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Education
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Diaspora
  • feminism
  • home
  • intimacy
  • migrants
  • nation
  • object
  • women


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