Dwe03
Material moralities of homes and housing

Convenors:
Anna Cristina Pertierra (Western Sydney University)
Heather Horst (The University of Sydney)
Stream:
Dwelling
Location:
Babel G03 (Lower Theatre)
Start time:
3 December, 2015 at 11:00
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

This panel seeks to bring together new research that takes homes, houses and housing as central objects of ethnographic inquiry. What particular contributions can anthropologists make to understanding how houses are imagined, constructed, distributed, inhabited, furnished, improved or discarded?

Long abstract:

This panel seeks to bring together new research that takes homes, houses and housing as central objects of ethnographic inquiry in Australian and international contexts. Although Levi Strauss's seminal concept of the House society and Bourdieu's famous analysis of the Kabyle house have transformed discussions of the relationship between homes and property in social life, anthropologists have not been among the central voices in global or national debates over houses, housing policy and home-making practices. What particular contributions can anthropologists make to understanding how houses are imagined, constructed, distributed, inhabited, furnished, improved or discarded? While acknowledging the relevance of debates in sociology, archaeology, urban planning and cultural studies around the changing nature of public and private space, and understanding the economic and political dimensions that affect policy-making and building design, this session will consider the ideals, intentions and practices of actual housing inhabitants and those who design on their behalf with a particular focus upon the role that houses play in realising (or failing to realise) forms of modernity that are diverse and at times competing. In keeping with the AAS 2015 theme, close attention will be paid to the moralities expressed, negotiated, contested and materialised through the planning, building, fixing and furnishing of domestic space.