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Domicide: The Global Destruction Of Home

J. Douglas Porteous
Sandra E. Smith
Copyright Date: 2001
Pages: 368
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Book Description:

    "Their eyes see rubble, former exiles see home" Globe and Mail, 23 June 2000

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-6961-4
    Subjects: Anthropology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. CHAPTER ONE Introducing Domicide
    (pp. 3-23)

    “A man’s home is his castle,” runs the old sexist adage. Many of us act out this aphorism on a daily basis as we leave home’s warm comfort for the daily round. Then, at the end of the day, we gladly re-enter our homes — places that are quiet refuges from the outside world; places in which we can truly be ourselves and display and nurture our being; places in which, above all, we may experience centredness, identity, and security.

    The security of our home, however, is never completely inviolable. Moth and rust may corrupt benignly within, but when thieves break...

  6. CHAPTER TWO Home: A Landscape of the Heart
    (pp. 24-63)

    Everyone knows what “home” means. Yet, this apparently simple concept has been the subject of countless studies, many stories, and much art and poetry. Home has been a theme of research in disciplines as varied as anthropology, environmental psychology, sociology, gerontology, women’s studies, history, ethnoarchaeology, architecture, education, planning, and geography. Indeed, home is one of the central concepts of human geography. At the global scale, Carl Ritter’s geography is “the study of the earth as the home of man.” At the meso scale, Kniffen believed that mapping the types of houses in Louisiana was an “attempt to get an areal...

  7. CHAPTER THREE Extreme Domicide: Landscapes of Violence
    (pp. 64-105)

    Extreme domicide involves major, planned operations that occur rather sporadically in time but often affect large areas and change the lives of considerable numbers of people. Such events are not everyday occurrences for most of us and are often regarded in personal life histories or in collective memory as epoch-making episodes, which are organized not by us but by others for our benefit or detriment. Extreme domicide, then, will be considered below in terms of war, colonial geopiracy, and resettlement projects. These are not watertight compartments; there is considerable overlap. But running through almost all categories of extreme domicide is...

  8. CHAPTER FOUR Everyday Domicide: Landscapes of Cruelty
    (pp. 106-150)

    Extreme domicide tends to happen infrequently and usually to people unlikely to be reading this book. In contrast, everyday domicide occurs continuously all over the world and can affect everyone except the wealthy and those who are its perpetrators. Unlike extreme domicide, the everyday variety comes about because of the normal, mundane operations of the world’s political economy. It is brought about, first, by inequalities based on the division of the world into rich and poor, colonizer and colonized, city and countryside — factors recognized alike by the fourteenth-century Islamic writer Ibn Khaldun, the fifteeenth-century Florentine Niccolo Machiavelli, the nineteenth-century’s Karl...

  9. CHAPTER FIVE Drowning Home: The Columbia River Basin in British Columbia
    (pp. 151-181)

    In this chapter, we deepen our understanding of the concept of domicide. All that has been discussed in previous chapters is tested by exploring two British Columbia situations in which the drowning of home occurred as a result of the construction of reservoirs for the Keenleyside (High Arrow) Dam and the Libby Dam in the 1960s and in which, today, a new association has arisen based on that original drowning of home. This chapter asks the following questions: What did home mean to the area residents? What did the residents of this area believe they would lose when they lost...

  10. CHAPTER SIX The Nature of Domicide
    (pp. 182-209)

    After a very discursive investigation of a large array of individual cases of domicide, followed by two detailed case studies, we will now attempt to draw the threads together and construct a typology, if not a theory, of domicide. Domicide has been defined as the deliberate destruction of home by agencies pursuing goals, which involves planning or similar processes, and which causes suffering to those who lose their homes. For the proponents, goal-oriented planning is the outstanding characteristic, often with the public interest as a basic motive. For the victims, the salient characteristic is suffering, for those who are content...

  11. CHAPTER SEVEN Ending Domicide?
    (pp. 210-242)

    Domicide matters. It is a normal, everyday occurrence. At least 30 million people are currently suffering its ravages. The process of domicide and the effects on its victims are serious phenomena, and, as such, they deserve recognition in just the same way that both genocide and environmental concerns have received worldwide attention. As the world’s leading expert on contemporary slavery states: “When people lose control of where they live and work ... they have lost fundamental human rights” (Bales 1999, 159).

    We may well ask: Why is the destruction of home not prevented? This question leads to others. Why is...

  12. Bibliography
    (pp. 243-278)
  13. Index
    (pp. 279-284)