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P085


Do-It-Yourself in Europe across East/West and North/South divides: Material culture of (post)socialist and capitalist prosumption
Convenors:
Karel Šima (Charles University in Prague)
Petr Gibas (Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences)
Format:
Panels
Sessions:
Thursday 23 July, 8:30-10:30, 11:00-13:00 (UTC+1)

Short abstract:

The panel focuses comparatively on the material culture of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) and what it can tell us about the changes societies in Europe has been undergoing since the 1980s characterised by the beginnings of profound transformations to both state socialism and capitalism.

Long abstract:

The panel focuses on the material culture of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) and what it can tell us about the changes societies in Europe has been undergoing since the 1980s characterised by the beginnings of profound transformations to both state socialism and capitalism the outcomes of which reverberate at present. Although DIY has been studied from various viewpoints, anthropological concern with material culture as a prism to understand both everyday experience and societal transformation represent an approach not fully exploited with respect to DIY. The panel seeks contributions that concentrate on the materiality of DIY and follow the things created, altered and used in DIY activities, explore practices and emotions in which they are immersed, and use these in order to generate novel understanding of the profound changes and transformations of contemporary societies. We understand DIY as encompassing complex self-led manual projects as well as minor work and repairs which are carried out in one´s free time, but which comprise also extended networks of people, eg. families, groups of neighbours, hobbyists or activists. We want to ask how these relations enter material ecologies of things and how they shape politics of private, semi-public and public space. On this ground, we want to explore and compare the divides between the East and the West shaped by the legacies of the Iron Curtain as well as the divides between the North and the South informed by the last economic crisis and ensuing austerity policies.