Socks for the Boys!

My Great Aunt Norah's wartime diaries, 1938-1948

Julie-Marie Strange, ‘Historicising the comfort of “things” in late-Victorian and Edwardian working-class culture’

This is my first endeavour at ‘re-blogging’ – here a piece by Julie-Marie Strange in 2013 on The Many-Headed Monster blog which explores the material objects in the working-class home. This enabled me to think differently about pop’s chair in my Ancestral Home post here: https://norahsdiaries.wordpress.com/2013/06/28/the-ancestral-home/

the many-headed monster

[This is the seventeenth piece in ‘The Future of History from Below’ online symposium (#historyfrombelow). Julie-Marie Strange is Senior Lecturer in Victorian Studies at the University of Manchester. Her research and publications focus on inter-personal dynamics in working-class and poor families in late Victorian and Edwardian Britain. Here she contributes to our conversation about the relationship between material culture and ‘history from below’ by asking how the study of  ‘things’  can bring new or alternative perspectives on overlooked aspects of working-class lives.]

In The Comfort of Things (2008), the anthropologist Daniel Millerpresented a series of ‘portraits’, stories of individuals and the things in their home that mattered to them, to challenge a narrative of consumption as corruption. Miller’s vignettes illuminate how objects embody people’s aspirations for sure, but, he also explores how the stories people tell about their things are intrinsic to their struggle to make their…

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This entry was posted on July 14, 2014 by in diaries.
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