Cycles of Life at the Hytte
Marianne Elisabeth Lien (University of Oslo)
Paper short abstract:
The lifetime of Norwegian holiday homes (hytter) usually extends beyond the life of its owners, raising questions about how it should be passed on to the next generation. Decisions about ownership become questions of kinship, as generational logics meet principles of equality.
Paper long abstract:
Should equality between siblings over-ride equality between grandchildren? And if so, why? This paper considers some structural dilemmas that arise between legal rules and social norms when Norwegians choose how to pass on property. Predominant principles of equality and fairness can come into conflict, just as primogeniture conflicts with partible inheritance, and kinning-through-owning meets the difficulties of peaceable co-ownership and accommodating differences between co-owners. Through ethnographic examples of a range of compromises that people invent to manage such dilemmas, we explore the role of property in kinning, and de-kinning within and between Norwegian families.
Passing on: the materialisation of kinship