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Accepted Paper:

Clutter and the Layering of Everyday Life: Reflections on Autobiographical Materiality  
Eerika Koskinen-Koivisto (University of Jyväskylä) Anna Kajander (University of Jyväskylä) Kristiina Korjonen-Kuusipuro (South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences) Viktorija L.A. Čeginskas (University of Jyväskylä)

Paper short abstract:

We approach clutter as a trigger to critical reflections on the value of things and autobiographical materiality, thing-body assemblages that have a special meaning in people’s lives analyzing the ways in which people adhere value to objects and materiality in the everyday life.

Paper long abstract:

Domestic mess and abundance of things have become a problem in Western homes, which are full of things and new commodities. At the same time, mess, clutter and over-consumption have a strong moral charge: they have become signs of laziness and individual failure of organizing the house, and personal lives (Löfgren 2017; also Woodward 2021). It could be argued that there is a constant battle between chaos and order going on in Western homes. Recent research on clutter has emphasized, however, that we should not approach clutter as a nuisance or meaningless (Woodward 2021) but rather as something that forces people to engage with materiality, making decision about what to keep and what to throw away and thereby to reflect over the questions of materialism, wastefulness, consumption and everyday familial norms. In this vein, we suggest that clutter could be analyzed as a trigger to critical reflections on the value of things and autobiographical materiality, thing-body assemblages that have a special meaning in people’s lives. Scrutinizing interviews of 12 individuals (8 women and 4 men) about meaningful objects, we analyze the ways in which people adhere value to objects and materiality in the on-going processes of selection and safeguarding of things in the everyday life.

Literature:

Löfgren, Orvar (2017) Mess: on domestic overflows. Consumption Markets & Culture, 20:1, 1-6

Woodward, Sophie (2021) Clutter in domestic spaces: Material vibrancy, and competing moralities. The Sociological Review, 69: 6, 1214-28.

Panel P099b
Reordering Domestic Spaces: Wild Ecologies of Things in the 21st Century II
  Session 1 Friday 29 July, 2022, -