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Being at “home”, not quite “inside” nor completely “outside”. Young Algerians facing the test of the “in-between”

Rim Otmani

Research framework: Young Algerians under the age of thirty are considered as an invisible population because they are the first to be affected by the unemployment crisis. This crisis leads to multiple exclusions and numerous precariousnesses and contributes to making a visible population invisible.

Objectives: This paper aims to document and better understand the subjective representations of home among young Algerian under the age of 30 who are considered as an invisible population, as well as to analyze the concept of home from a micro-sociological perspective and to go beyond general representations in order to gain a true understanding of the different dimensions associated with it.

Methodology: Based on three qualitative research studies, this article is based on semi-structured interviews with young Algerian adults (aged 18 to 30 years old), in Annaba and Oran, at different times (2009-2010, 2017 and 2020). The comprehensive socio-anthropological approach allows us to understand the concept of home at different levels of analysis, in particular to grasp individual and collective representations as well as issues related to spatial, social and identity dimensions.

Results: Subjective representations of home highlight the dimension of identity in an individual and collective perspective. Thus, home represents an active construction, based on personal and collective goals, imaginations and ideals.

Conclusions: The concept of home is a process related to a subjective reality rather than an objective social fact. The subjective nature of people’s experience is central to this work, as it allows for different dimensions of home” to be brought together.

Contribution: This article is a theoretical and practical analysis of the concept of home which is situated in an in-between (inside/outside) where the needs of individualization and socialization clash.