Ideal Homes? Social Change and Domestic Life

Ideal Homes? Social Change and Domestic Life

Ideal Homes? Social Change and Domestic Life

Ideal Homes? Social Change and Domestic Life

Synopsis

Ideal Homes? shows how both popular images and experiences of home life relate to the ability of society's members to produce and respond to social change. The book provides for the first time an analysis of the space of the home and the experiences of home life by writers from a wide range of disciplines, including sociology, architecture, geography and anthropology. It covers a range of subjects, including gender roles, different generations relationships to home, the changing nature of the family, transition and risk and alternative visions of home.

Excerpt

Under headings such as social class, work, family and gender, sociology has examined the lives of society's members. When it comes to the homes within which their domestic lives are lived out, the discipline has remained somewhat silent. It is a domain which has been left largely to housing policy, planning, architecture and, to a limited extent, social anthropology. At best, the home appears as a bit-part player within weightier discussions, a site where more 'central' social issues can be addressed. Yet 'home' as idea, place and object consumes a significant proportion of individuals' incomes, preoccupies their day-dreams and their leisure time, and, in its absence, constitutes a major threat both for governments and homeless people themselves.

Though we are dealing with the material objects and spaces which most of us inhabit on a day-to-day basis, it is home-based desires, imaginings and aspirations which we prioritise as key aspects of a wider cultural and social nexus. This is reflected in our foregrounding of qualitative studies and textual and graphic representations which effectively capture the specificity of the experience of domestic life, of home as inhabited. Indeed, as we argue throughout this book, the relative permanence and consistency of popular images and experiences of home life can produce vital clues as to how society's members both produce and respond to social change. The topic of the home as idealised and experienced inevitably confronts the sociologist with the changes in family structure which have resulted from the twentieth century's transformations in femininity and masculinity and their impact upon expectations of love and marriage, intimacy and relationships with children, family, friends and neighbours. At the intersection of the public world of planners and policy makers and the personal world of family, friends and neighbours, the home is a site within which key social and personal values can be examined. It is this task which the contributors to this collection have undertaken. Our starting point is the Ideal Home Exhibition which, since its inception in 1908, has provided a synthesis of society's architectural and domestic aspirations. This is complemented by a wide range of studies-qualitative, literary, archival, historical, quantitative-which afford us views into the homes of particular social categories and individuals, from those in transition from

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.