The panel seeks empirical studies and theoretical contributions tracking changes to do-it-yourself (DIY) and exploring the ways in which wider societal transformations reflect and are reflected in the transformations of DIY in terms of practices, produced materialities and their effects on meanings.
Modern do-it-yourself (DIY) has a long tradition across Europe linked to wartime shortages and post-war recoveries in both capitalist and socialist countries of the second half of the 20th century. With the fall of socialism in the latter and a proliferation of consumer culture of late capitalism in both, DIY has become strongly embedded in the economy of consumerism as well as in countercultural environments. This panel aims at tracking changes to DIY and exploring the ways in which wider societal transformations reflect and are reflected in the transformations of DIY. The panel seeks empirical and/or theoretical papers exploring DIY in historical, ethnographical, anthropological and other related perspectives with particular emphasis on practices (and their wider socio-cultural, economic and political contexts), materialities of DIY production (DIY as bricolage, similarities and differences of DIY products over time and across contexts) as well as effects of DIY production (emotional, aesthetical as well as on identity building and memory formation). The panel is interested in but not limited to issues such as changing relationship between DIY and consumerism, post-socialist transformations of DIY cultures, changes to DIY as a countercultural practice, tensions between DIY as an economically necessary practice and a consumerist leisure activity, DIY as a (trans)formative practise, DIY and bricolage and similar issues.