'Home is always Home'. (Former) Street Youth in Blantyre, Malawi, and the Fluidity of Constructing Home
This book is based on Tanja D'. Hendriks' Master's thesis ''Home is always Home': (Former) Street Youth in Blantyre, Malawi, and the Fluidity of Constructing Home', winner of the African Studies Centre, Leiden's 2016 Africa Thesis Award. This annual award for Master's students encourages student research and writing on Africa and promotes the study of African cultures and societies.

For many Malawians, the concept of home is strongly associated with rural areas and one's (supposedly rural) place of birth. Many former street youth adhere to this 'grand narrative about home', despite the fact that this generally depicts them as 'homeless', because they reside(d) on the streets - in town. So, how do (former) street youth in Blantyre, Malawi, engage with 'the grand narrative about home' in trying to imagine their 'becoming at home' in the city?
This book departs from the idea that (the search for) home is an integral part of the human condition. During eight months of ethnographic fieldwork in Blantyre, the author tried to come to an understanding of the meaning of home for (former) street youth. Their home-making practices in relation to marginalized socio-economic position in a generally challenging economic context point towards more fluid and diverse constructions of home, which exist alongside the aforementioned grand narrative, without rendering it obsolete. Hence, home can best be seen as a fluid field of tensions (re)created in the everyday. As such, it leaves space fot both (former) street youths roots and routes in ife, while they are becoming at home in the world.

Tanja Dorothé Hendriks (1990) holds a bachelor's degree in anthropology and a master's degree in International Development Studies (University of Amsterdam). She also completed the research master in African Studies at the African Studies Centre (Leiden University), for which she conducted fieldwork in Malawi, focusing on (former) street youth and 'home'.

Year of publication: 2017
Series: African Studies Collection
Volume: 69



Winner Africa Thesis Award 2016
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Tanja D. Hendriks
African Studies Centre Leiden