Publication details for Professor Lorna Fox O'MahonyFox, Lorna. (2002). The Meaning of Home: A Chimerical Concept or a Legal Challenge? Journal of Law and Society 29(4): 580-610.
- Publication type: Journal papers: academic
- ISSN/ISBN: 0263-323X, 1467-6478
- DOI: 10.1111/1467-6478.00234
- Keywords: Home, socio-legal concept, repossession.
- View online: Online version
- Durham research online: DRO record
Author(s) from Durham
‘Home’ is not an easy concept to pin down. Although the term is instantly familiar, and the physical reality of home is an important and omnipresent feature of our everyday lives, the legal conception of home has received surprisingly little attention. The relative neglect of home is particularly striking, however, in light of the substantial body of research which has been carried out on the subject of home in other disciplines. This article discusses the meanings of home which have evolved from interdisciplinary research. It is argued that this research could provide a starting point for the development of a more clearly articulated socio-legal understanding of the meaning and value of home to occupiers. It is suggested that a legal concept of the meaning of home would be useful, for instance, when considering the conflict of interests between the occupiers of a property ‘as a home’, and other parties with ‘non-home’ interests in the property, for example creditors. This article seeks to identify some of the values of home which might inform a legal concept of home, and so be ‘weighed in the balance’ on the occupier’s side when decisions involving conflicts between home interests and commercial interests are considered.