Haunting in the materials of everyday life

Silva, Elizabeth (2013). Haunting in the materials of everyday life. In: Harvey, Penny; Casella, Eleanor Conlin; Evans, Gillian; Knox, Hannah; McLean, Christine; Silva, Elizabeth B.; Thorburn, Nicholas and Woodward, Kath eds. Objects and Materials: A Routledge Companion. CRESC. London: Routledge.

URL: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/97804156788...


My premise in this paper is that social life involves a prominent link with materiality which is often unnoticed. Yet, it is possible for one to know oneself and one’s relations through things and one can be known through things. While histories of things in the social world of a person conjure up a life trajectory, and objects can mediate a person, devices are never innocent, acting as props, story telling devices, mnemonics for certain experiences, messy and entangled components of a way of living and crucial life changing instruments. Here, the setting of my engagement with these issues is everyday life, where materials conform and inform relationships physically manifesting culture, acting on identity formation and performance and intervening in practices patterned by the resources that these same materials are themselves responsible for generating. Social divisions of class, gender and sexuality are some of the diverse configurations material resources appear entangled with and that concern me in this paper.

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