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Material Objects, identity and the home: towards a relational housing research agenda


Jacobs, K and Malpas, J, Material Objects, identity and the home: towards a relational housing research agenda, Housing, Theory and Society, 30, (3) pp. 281-292. ISSN 1403-6096 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 IBF, The Institute for Housing and Urban Research

DOI: doi:10.1080/14036096.2013.767281


Although it is understood that the home constitutes one of the ways that individuals articulate a sense of self-identity, housing researchers have largely focussed on the symbolic meaning of home. In our paper, we seek to extend the field of housing studies by exploring the relational effects of the home. Our two key arguments are the following: first, the objects have effects that are independent of our awareness of them, and second, the formation of self is constituted in relation to the material world rather than through a separated interiority. We begin our paper with a number of observations about research on the home and the ways that sociologists and anthropologists have viewed the significance of material objects. In the main part of our paper, we draw upon Proustís novel In Search of Lost Time to illustrate our arguments. In the conclusion, we consider how Proustís novel might be used as a resource for a more extensive "relational" housing research agenda.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:home, identity, subjectivity, relationality, Proust
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Social theory
Objective Division:Construction
Objective Group:Construction planning
Objective Field:Urban planning
UTAS Author:Jacobs, K (Professor Keith Jacobs)
UTAS Author:Malpas, J (Professor Jeff Malpas)
ID Code:83468
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:38
Deposited By:School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2013-03-14
Last Modified:2018-02-13
Downloads:2 View Download Statistics

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