Thrift and dwelling: popular media representations of 'appropriate' ways of being in the world 
Aneta Podkalicka (Monash University)
Alexa Färber (University of Vienna)
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Sui generis
KWZ 0.607
Start time:
28 March, 2017 at 8:30 (UTC+0)
Session slots:

Short Abstract:

This panel discusses how the ambivalence of thrift - e.g. between necessity and choice - is articulated in popular media with respect to the notion and practice of dwelling. The comparative analysis will address what is considered an appropriate way of being in the world.

Long Abstract

The past financial crisis has prompted an increased scholarly interest in the cultural and historical dimensions of thrift: from national interpretations (Yates/Hunter 2011) to urban politics of austerity (Peck 2012) or everyday low budget practices and spatial configurations (Färber/Otto 2016). Collectively, thrift appears as an ambivalent and multi-dimensional practice: e.g. based on necessity (out of existential need) or choice (ethical conviction) and competence (Podkalicka/Potts 2013), with a sense of an appropriateness of 'thriving' (Yates/Hunter 2011).

In this panel we want to discuss how the ambivalence and sense of appropriateness of thrift/thriving is articulated in popular media in relation to dwelling. Print magazines, user-generated YouTube clips and TV-shows cover stories from house sharing, DIY renovations to downshifting households, offering rich material for analysis of the culturally specific and normative representations of thrift and dwelling.

We invite papers that analyse the cultural semantics of popular media articulations of thrift and dwelling (historical and contemporary) to advance a debate on how "appropriate" ways of being in the world are being negotiated in varied contexts of austerity or prosperity.

Färber, A./B. Otto (2016): Saving (in) a common world: Studying urban assemblages through a low-budget urbanities perspective. In: Blok. A./I. Farias (eds): Urban cosmopolitics. London, 25-43.

Peck, J. (2012). Austerity Urbanism. City, 16, 626-655.

Podkalicka, A./J. Potts (2013) 'Towards a general theory of thrift'. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 17(3), 227-241.

Yates, J./J. D. Hunter (2011): Thrift and thriving in America. New York.

Accepted papers: