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07 May 2013
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£55.00
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9780230230286
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

Why do mantelpieces matter? As everyday 'focal points', they offer a unique way into understanding how what matters relates to who matters.

Wide-ranging, original, innovative research assembles Mass Observation Archive material with historiographies of family, house and nation from ancient Greece to present-day Europe, China and America. Entwined with insightful ethnography of British domestic and heritage practices, these studies elicit how power works in the small spaces of home. Accompanied by films made with asylum seekers and participants' 'photo-calendars', it is an engaging, effective fusion of different modes of analysis, with imaginative theorising and auto-biographical reflection.

This cutting-edge contribution to current debates on identity unfolds how dominant cultural values not only exclude the dispossessed, but also limit possibilities for future networks of shared hope, loss and vulnerability.



Description

Why do mantelpieces matter? As everyday 'focal points', they offer a unique way into understanding how what matters relates to who matters.

Wide-ranging, original, innovative research assembles Mass Observation Archive material with historiographies of family, house and nation from ancient Greece to present-day Europe, China and America. Entwined with insightful ethnography of British domestic and heritage practices, these studies elicit how power works in the small spaces of home. Accompanied by films made with asylum seekers and participants' 'photo-calendars', it is an engaging, effective fusion of different modes of analysis, with imaginative theorising and auto-biographical reflection.

This cutting-edge contribution to current debates on identity unfolds how dominant cultural values not only exclude the dispossessed, but also limit possibilities for future networks of shared hope, loss and vulnerability.



Reviews

Rachel Hurdley on Woman's Hour
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00yz54q#p00fgmhg
 
"Read it! If you have read it, read it again!" - David Morgan, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of Manchester UK
 
"Renovates everyday life ananlysis ... a tour de force." - David Inglis, Professor of Sociology, University of Aberdeen, UK


Contents

Introduction: Dismantling Mantelpieces
PART I: PASTS: HISTORY, ARCHIVE AND MEMORY
1. Histories of Domestic Fire
2. Mass Observation Mantelpiece
3. Materialising Memory
PART II: PRESENTS - ORDERING IDENTITIES , THINGS AND HOME
4. Telling Identities
5. Relating the Gift
6. Focal Points
PART III: CULTURES OF 'HOME' - OTHER WAYS OF LOOKING
7. Defamiliarising Home
8. Genealogies of Difference
Conclusion: Culture, Clutter, Contemplation
Epilogue: Encounter


Authors

Rachel Hurdley is Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, Cardiff University School of Social Sciences, UK. Her research focuses on everyday relations between people, things, space and time, examining how identity, power and culture happen as small processes.