‘It’s like having one more family member’: Private hospitality, affective responsibility and intimate boundaries within refugee hosting networks

Pierre Monforte*, Gaja Maestri, Estelle d’Halluin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Since 2015, the notion of hospitality has been a guiding principle and a key demand for individuals and organisations that provide direct support to refugees in Europe. Through a set of interviews conducted with volunteers active in the Refugees Welcome movement in Britain, France and Italy, this article explores the motivations and experiences of individuals who practise (private) hospitality by hosting refugees in their homes. Looking specifically at the ‘responsibility’ that emerges from the practice of hosting, we show that the experience of private hospitality is based on narratives stressing feelings of love and family-like relations, and thus creates the expectation of an affective connection between the host and the guest. We maintain that this process is highly ambivalent as it risks creating and reproducing everyday intimate bordering processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)674-689
Number of pages16
Journal Journal of Sociology
Volume57
Issue number3
Early online date27 Feb 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding: This work was supported by the Economic and Social Research Council. Project title: Exploring the Frames of Altruistic Action, 2017–2020. Grant number: ES/N015274/1

Keywords

  • bordering
  • emotions
  • hospitality
  • refugee crisis
  • responsibility
  • volunteering

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