Durable Domestic Dreams: Exploring Homes in Estonian Socialist-era Summerhouse Settlements


‘Home’ and the connotations of this term are little understood in the context of post-socialist Central and Eastern Europe. While modern suburban living was rather unusual in this region under socialism, more and more people live in suburbia today. This article concerns itself with the homes of residents in the former socialist-era summerhouse settlements in Estonia. Its aim is to further an understanding of the origins and (dis)continuities of the notion of home for individuals living in a post-socialist environment. This study is based on ethnographic fieldwork. In this article, we present socialist and post-socialist housing in context and describe how it has been shaped by changes in society. Our findings show that the homes of informants appear to strengthen their sense of freedom, autonomy and stability, while simultaneously inspiring their dreams and imaginations of home.