By Rachel Hurdley
Assembling Mass commentary Archive fabric with historiographies of kin, condominium and state from ancient-Greece to present-day Europe, China and the United States, this e-book contributes to present debates on id, belonging, reminiscence and fabric tradition through exploring how energy works within the small areas of domestic.
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Additional resources for Home, Materiality, Memory and Belonging: Keeping Culture
Further ﬁeldwork, with British expatriates on the East Coast of the United States, Californians, a second-generation British Muslim woman, a poor white working-class Welsh family, white African migrants and visiting Chinese town planners, is not designed to provide an extensive survey of the multicultural mantelpiece. This is not a catalogue. The aim is to elicit the narrowness of the mantelpiece: the thin line of what is made explicit and visible among people who are assumed to share common ground (Foucault 1989) in the ordinary business of family and home.
While ‘nostalgia’ remains a bone of contention among scholars of nationhood, particularly with its links to heritage (Hewison 1987; Wright 2009), such concepts touch on affective dimensions of home: as haunting, dream, image-space, imaginary and psycho-geography (Benjamin 2006 [1932–1934]; Bachelard 1994 ; Marcus 1995; Busch 1999). Bachelard suggested that ‘topoanalysis’ was as vital to understanding how people make meaning as psychoanalysis. These ‘home-makings’ resonate with memory as ghost (Carsten 2007b), as disruptive haunting in the city (Hetherington 2008), and reach beyond home as material, to home as ‘dwelling’ (Heidegger 2010 ; Latimer and Munro 2009) and relational extension (Strathern 2004 ).
While he uses the picture frame as a means of explaining how this conceptual frame makes sense of experience, I suggest reversing this relation for the purpose of understanding how the mantelpiece ‘works’ as a setting for everyday performances of home, family, memory and identity. Goffman argued that ‘performance’ is not a type of special practice set aside from normal situations, but that all interaction is performed by social actors, who also act as audiences for others. Thus, the ‘self’ (whatever that is) is ‘presented’ in everyday life through careful ‘impression management’ (1959, 1986).
Home, Materiality, Memory and Belonging: Keeping Culture by Rachel Hurdley