Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences Book Chapters and Sections
Title: Belonging in difficult family circumstances: Emotions, intimacies and consumption
Author(s): Wilson, Sarah
Contact Email:
Editor(s): Casey, E
Taylor, Y
Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council
Citation: Wilson S (2015) Belonging in difficult family circumstances: Emotions, intimacies and consumption. In: Casey E & Taylor Y (eds.) Intimacies, critical consumption and diverse economies. Palgrave Macmillan Studies in Family and Intimate Life. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 126-144.
Keywords: Young people
Issue Date: 31-Oct-2015
Date Deposited: 3-Dec-2015
Series/Report no.: Palgrave Macmillan Studies in Family and Intimate Life
Abstract: Much work on young people’s material and consumer cultures has focused on the relatively affluent, and on those living with their parents. This chapter is concerned with the often more problematic material and affective circumstances of young people whose family difficulties have led them to be ‘looked after’ by the state. In particular, it focuses on the significance of material objects in helping to construct (or not) a sense of belonging, however ambivalent, in often successive places of residence. Further, while there has been much policy and research discussion of young people’s use of consumer items affording access to the internet and other electronic means of communication (Livingstone and Haddon, 2008; Livingstone et al., 2012; Osvaldsson, 2011), this chapter focuses on the importance of items of lesser monetary but often great affective or ‘sentimental’ value. As such, it draws on and develops recent literature on the role of consumption and material culture (Miller, 2008; 2010) in producing the self as a person who ‘belongs’ (May, 2013[A1][EC2]), and who can ‘display’ a family (Finch, 2007). In addition, this chapter discusses the research interview itself, in particular where, as in the project discussed, visual (and audial) methods are employed, as a place in which families and relationships may be ‘displayed’, through photographs of material objects and places or drawings of ‘ideal homes’. The chapter also explores the consumption of the artefacts produced in such research. On the one hand, these artefacts are analysed as possible means of drawing sympathetic attention to the material and relational absences and fragility associated with difficult family circumstances. It is argued that these items, if carefully used, have the potential to evoke the type of ‘haunting’ in a wider audience discussed by Gordon (2008) as a potential prompt for changes in the public imagination of groups whose difficult circumstances tend currently to be understood in individual terms. At the same time, the potentially more negative effects of research council requirements to evidence research ‘impact’ and to archive all data produced are addressed. In particular, the potential for archived photographic data to fix and reinforce stigmatised representations of difficult circumstances, and by extension of those associated with them, is discussed. [A1]AQ: Please provide complete details of this work to include in references [EC2]May, Vanessa.Connecting Self to Society.Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013
Rights: This item has been embargoed for a period. During the embargo please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study. Wilson S, Belonging in difficult family circumstances: Emotions, intimacies and consumption. In: Casey E, Taylor Y (ed.). Intimacies, critical consumption and diverse economies, 2015, Palgrave Macmillan reproduced with permission of Palgrave Macmillan. This extract is taken from the author's original manuscript and has not been edited. The definitive, published, version of record is available here:

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
PalgraveintimaciesChapter 6 final.pdfFulltext - Accepted Version600.97 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

This item is protected by original copyright

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

The metadata of the records in the Repository are available under the CC0 public domain dedication: No Rights Reserved

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.