Personal collections as material assemblages: a comparison of wardrobes and music collections

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Abstract

This article takes the case studies of music and clothing collections in the home to explore the possibilities for developing comparative research into everyday consumption by focusing upon personal collections. Drawing on two empirical research projects, it challenges dominant understandings of collections as ‘special’ (Belk, 1995) or separated off from daily practices by considering music and clothing collections as the site for everyday consumption practices as well as the locus of memories. Collections are reframed as ‘assemblages’ (Bennett, 2009) to explore the diverse materialities and temporalities that constitute the collections. Agency is distributed through the assemblage which allows for a problematisation of notions of individual consumer ‘choice’ as the article explores the logics of the collections themselves. Focusing upon ‘collections’ paves the way for comparative work on different genres of consumption and to explore the diverse materialities of things and their relationalities. It widens our understanding of consumption to incorporate both the use of things in the enactment of daily life as well as things which are kept or stored.

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Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Consumer Culture
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2015

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