I know that when I am referring to a home, I can refer to it using the words - in a residential/domestic context... Is it the same for different places of stay like hostels, old age homes, refugee camps? Can I refer to them in the same way?

For example, in the residential context of a refugee camp, we can see that... Or when the domestic context of the refugee camp is studied, it is obvious that...

  • I don't think either term is appropriate in the example you give.
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 24, 2016 at 12:51
  • I think of residential context in relation to an idea, not necessarily a place. So you might say that in a residential context, the notion of 'heavy' traffic is not nearly as severe as it would be in a commercial context. But you wouldn't say that * you are leaving your residential context early to get to work on time; you might say instead that you are leaving your house or home early.
    – Lawrence
    Jul 24, 2016 at 15:34

1 Answer 1


"Domestic" has more "family" connotations: it refers to the family home. For example, "Domestic violence" means "violence from one family member onto another".

"residential" simply refers to where someone lives. "Residential" could refer to a care home, where old people live together for example.

In this sense, using "domestic" with a refugee camp is not appropriate because that camp is not a family home, even if a family happens to be living in it.


I also think that "residential" isn't right for a refugee camp either, as "residential" makes one think of a permanent structure, which was designed for people to live in. A refugee camp is more temporary, or is supposed to be at least.

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