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Objecting relations: The problem of the gift

Hurdley, Rachel 2007. Objecting relations: The problem of the gift. The Sociological Review 55 (1) , pp. 124-143. 10.1111/j.1467-954X.2007.00685.x

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This paper focuses on informants' accounts of gifts displayed on their living room mantelpieces drawn from a recent study exploring domestic display in Cardiff. The mantelpiece is an ideal space for looking at a particular category of salient objects: gifts on show in the home. An interpretation of narrative accounts is located within existing theoretical and empirical studies of gift exchange to reconsider the complex enmeshment of this traditional relation in everyday practices. An equivalence between the mantelpiece and the ‘gifts’ it presents in the home as taken-for-granted, inherited practices and materials leads to a final discussion focusing on the apparently democratised yet still gendered character of everyday gift practices. In conclusion, a consideration of the gendering of the gift questions whether this traditional, problematic method of accounting for and maintaining relations is desirable.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISSN: 0038-0261
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 05:01

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