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Dismantling mantelpieces: Narrating identities and materializing culture in the home

Hurdley, Rachel 2006. Dismantling mantelpieces: Narrating identities and materializing culture in the home. Sociology 40 (4) , pp. 717-733. 10.1177/0038038506065157

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This article applies narrative methods to an analysis of the meaning of British domestic culture.The data are from an exploratory study investigating how and why people displayed objects in their homes. Although mantelpiece displays were the principal focus, other display areas were considered, and interview respondents were invited to tell stories about the provenance and meaning of objects. Analysing such narratives as social performances demonstrates the extent to which the apparently ‘private’ experiences of the self are manifested by means of display objects and domestic artefacts. Narratives and objects inhabit the intersection of the personal and the social. An analysis of four narratives that two women related during interviews in their homes shows how people account for themselves in recounting stories of their home possessions. In conclusion, a research strategy combining narrative accounts with an interpretation of photographic data is suggested.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 0038-0385
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 05:01

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