martes, 19 de febrero de 2013

Housing and Domestic Life

“Cultures of domestic life explicitly concern three attributes. First, the artefacts and techniques of human groups (housing units, infrastructure and services). This can be considered as the material culture of domestic life that may express and communicate cultural and social/group identities. The second attribute is the social organization of human groups according to norms about marriage, kinship, household composition and social relations. The residential environment not only expresses social conventions but also social differentiation by differences in architectural style, the size of housing units and the site location. The third attribute is the meanings attributed to the physical and non-material components of himan habitats and how these are expressed by language: for example, a housing unit, a dwelling, a domicile, or home […].

Although the internal organisation and use of housing units can be described according to orientation, climate and the availability of construction materials, this description does not include the shared meanings and values attributed to domestic space unless cultural dimensions are considered. These cultural dimensions are reflected in the preparation and consumption of food, the nomenclature of domestic space and household activities, customs about receiving family, friends and neighbours, and rituals and religious practices for special occasions, including birth, marriage and death […].

A housing unit and all its content is a medium for non-verbal communication between household members, family, friends and strangers. […] domestic space and household possessions not only have monetary and use values. In addition, they become objects with psychological dimensions that express the self, because they convey information about the personal identity, group identity and values of the resident."

Lawrence, R., 2012. People-Environment Studies. In: D. F. Clapham, W. A. V. Clarck & K. Gibb, eds. The SAGE Handbook of Housing Studies. London: Sage Publications, pp. 230-243.

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