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Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century


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Table of Contents

Table of Contents 1: Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century 2: Material Saturation: Mountains of Possessions 3: Food, Food, Food 4: Vanishing Leisure 5: Kitchens as Command Centers 6: Bathroom Bottlenecks 7: Master Suites as Sanctuaries 8: Plugged In 9: My Space, Your Space, Our Space: The Personalization of Home

About the Author

Jeanne E. Arnold is professor of anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Anthony P. Graesch is assistant professor of anthropology at Connecticut College. Photographer Enzo Ragazzini resides in the Tuscany region of Italy and his work has been featured at exhibitions throughout Europe and North America. Elinor Ochs is UCLA Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Applied Linguistics and served as director of the UCLA Sloan Center on Everyday Lives of Families.


"This book documents major findings of a brilliantly conceived and executed piece of social science research that speaks to a very wide and diverse audience. Its findings are significant, credible, and provocative. In my opinion, it is one of the most significant social-science projects undertaken in the United States, demonstrating the power of anthropological and archaeological approaches to researching human behavior, whether in a traditional tribal society or in an industrial megalopolis. The discussions are filled with interesting insights that could only have come from a first-hand study of household material culture. The flow of everyday life in relation to places defined by objects provides a refreshing and unique perspective on human behavior. Readers will be drawn in by the lively, well-written, and accessible prose. The images are spectacular because theres nothing else like themin quality, quantity, and especially their unique view of modern family life and household possessions. [This book is] of great significance, not only to the social sciences but also to ongoing policy discussions about what is happening in America." Michael Brian Schiffer, University of Arizona "This is a remarkable, good-natured, and absorbing product of a long-term collaborative research project by a team of UCLA senior scholars and their students from anthropology and archaeology, with the aid of a master photographer, of the everyday lived-in spaces of a select number of households in southern California. They observe closely the mise-en-scene of everyday life in these households--the clutter of "things," the omnipresence of food, the coping with real estate developers' ideas of what a bathroom and a bedroom should be, the accommodation of the increasing presence of digital devices, and much more. A lot of this will be familiar to US readers, even if they did not know it before picking up this book. Indeed, the authors achieve magnificently what anthropology in its ethnographic sensibility is best at doing: making the familiar appear strange by looking closely at it. It engenders a shock of the familiar by directing readers' attention to what they would hardly notice otherwise. Rather than terror, fear, alarm, or pity, it produces amusement, curiosity, and most of all, hope. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries." G. E. Marcus, University of California, Irvine -- review form CHOICE magazine

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