Home Matters: The Material Culture of Urban Security


How do residents mobilize their dwellings to engage in the politics of urban security? How do these mobilizations connect to their perceptions of insecurity and residents’ concrete engagements in protecting their lives and possessions? And what can we learn from these engagements—by looking through the lens of dwelling—about urban security? The main objective of this intervention forum is to explore the cross‐fertilization between studies on the material culture of house and home and studies on urban security. To this end, all of the contributions to this section highlight residents’ views, voices and practices, drawing from empirically saturated case studies in suburban Rome, Jerusalem, Lima, Medellín and La Plata. The essays suggest a move towards understanding the house and home as both place in need of protection and place of political engagement and struggle. Read together, this set of interventions contributes to a better understanding of how defending house and home turns security politics into a multi‐scalar governing principle and how one’s house can shape the ways citizens negotiate their place in urban politics. In this way, the intervention offers some novel pathways for including security politics—and particularly the material elements that are involved in its production—in the scope of material culture studies.