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Appropriating the State on the Council Estate Author(s): Daniel Miller Reviewed work(s): Source: Man, New Series,

Vol. 23, No. 2 (Jun., 1988), pp. 353-372 Published by: Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland Stable URL: . Accessed: 13/05/2012 11:02
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in is withthenature consumption an industrial of society.It investigates This article concerned the mannerin which tenantson a London Council Estate have decoratedand alteredtheir in to facilities providedby the kitchens.Striking differences the abilityof tenants appropriate and otherfactors.Such a perspective council are consideredin relationto gender,ethnicity of It the nature gender undercertain conditions. also highlights illustrates dialectical the categories to of as whichsocial groupsattempt dynamic potential long-term consumption an arenathrough but unableto accomplishthisgoal. transform alienablegoods intoinalienable culture, areoften

Introduction: theoretical the background

The key analyticaltermsto be employed in this articleare alienationand literature withinwhich appropriation. These are derivedfroma considerable anthropologists have attempted utiliseconceptswhich arose out of critical to societiesand applythemto smaller-scale debatesas to thenatureof industrial A has by communities. keypointofdeparture been Thegift Mauss (1954), from has been developedbetween'commodity'societies,used to which a polarity the and societies, usedto characterise state the exemplify state alienation, 'gift' of ofinalienability I (e.g. Gregory 982). This polarity beenmostmarked writings thePacific has in on wherea seriesof (1974: I49-83), recentanalyseshave followed fromSahlins's representation as strike strategies a formof pre-emptive against followingMauss, of cultural of thepossibility alienation I985; WeinerI985). It (e.g. Munn I977; Strathern to would seem worthwhile utiliseour understanding suchcultural of strategies derived fromthe study of non-industrial societies,and returnthem to the context within which the problematicwas firstencountered-to see, for as can from example,whether imagesofculture inalienability also be recovered an society. ethnographic studywithin industrial in seemswarranted. In thiscircle,a shift thefocusof concern In completing of Melanesia,theformation processessuch as genderand exchangeensurethat to of By giventhe objectsare integral theformation social relations. contrast, tradition, main thrustof social the influence Marx on this 'expressivist' of has criticism withinindustrial contexts been levelledagainstconditions which createalienationas estrangement fromthe productsof labour, regardedas withaspectsofthesocial beingof theproducer.It should havingbeeninvested
Mani(N S ) 23, 353-372



of theory maybynow be evident theI980's, however,that by thisform critical The may be anachronistic. experience alienation estrangement encompassa of as much widerspectrum interaction of betweensocial groupsand theirreceived thanthatof therelations production of whichhave been thefocus environment context,the veryscale of the of conventional socialism.Withinan industrial may makealienation an institutions whichconstruct distribute products and its intrinsic condition.In such circumstances what must be looked for are not a 'pre-emptive strikes', but rather responsein the formof an appropriation, of environment. understood a re-socialisation, theartefactual as The problem of housing, which provides the backgroundto my study, of the relationship betweensocietyand its exemplifies complexity thecurrent its appeal,is never likely be more to artefacts. Self-built housing, despite political thana minority unlesswe wantto renewtheentire housingstockat possibility, A of has a of veryshort intervals. theory housingtherefore to be largely theory The distributive mechanisms-thatis, themarket and thestate consumption. as sourceofsocial identification -are clearly problematic candidates thedirect This meansthatwhether counciltenants owner as or affective or community. households are likely to receive theirbuilt environment the as occupiers, as ofa system whichwould notbe regarded an investment their of social product as are being.Ifthey to developtheir self-conception householdsand neighbourof as some form consumption appropriation, though hoods it mustbe through this task may well be coloured by their of theirpossibilities accomplishing status. consumption is The aim ofthisarticle aboutworkon thehomeas consumption therefore to suchlabouras a social activity. excavatethenature thevalue whichconfirms of from particular This is notsome absolutequality rather but the position derives in of of consumption the contextof more generalcharacterisations industrial used notion of consumersis extremely constraining, society. Our current mainlyin relationto the purchaseof commoditiesor of statusin respectto from and the connotations generally are ownership, negative,a degeneration the previousstateof 'users' (e.g. R. WilliamsI980). There is a considerable with consumption, verylittleabout what an but literature what is wroing on whichis integral all industrial to societiesoughtto be like. Consumpactivity in terms an ideal. One such as tionmay,however,be reformulated value-related model mightinvolve a process by which social groups are formedaround activitiesthroughwhich theyattempt(with variabledegrees of success) to the met render whatis inevitably as alienating whenreceivedthrough distributive institutions the nation-state, of into inalienableculture (Miller I987: be with the mannerby I78-2I7). Our concernshould therefore increasingly contribute constrainthis or which relationsof productionand distribution as of projectof consumption theconstruction inalienability. is in The particular subjectof thisanalysis an aspectof thebuiltenvironment Britain.At thepresent timethereare manyincentives establishing to alternawith theirconsequence of tives to the dual means of housing distribution of of from environment the alienation sections our own society which potential whichduring bureaucracy theyoccupy. These are a strongcentralist planning the period of high modernism of appearsto have alienatedthe recipients this



housingmarket, hand,a private aspectofwelfare state policy,and,on theother whichleaves onlya declineither rented especially or, today,owner-occupied, (Labour ing and clearly inferior housingsectionto thoseunabletojoin thefray Housing Group I984). In developingsuch alternatives drivehas been towardsa more particithe including betweenplanners and consumers, patoryand dynamicrelationship construction (such as ownershipand community different formsof collective These housing co-operatives)or possibilitiesof self-buildand self-control. changesare associatedwithgroupsas diverseas thefarleftand themonarchy on (McDonald I986; Ward I985). Recentacademicwriting thesetrends(e.g. such as 'alienaSaundersI984; P. Williams1986) oftenemploysterminology and most recently 'ontologicalsecurity'which tion', 'affective community', of with evokesa processbeyondtheconstruction housingandimpliesa concern the subsequentrelationship between the housing and its occupants. Here, is observation sparse.Therehave been participant however,research relatively on has projects housingestates (e.g. AndrewsI979) buttheorientation been to the public domain and theemergence phenomenasuch as tenants'associaof is tionsor the use of public facilities. The problemforresearch thatonce the inaccessible buildingsare completemostof theactiontakesplace in thatrather doors. areabehindthefront as is Such information is availableabout thislong-term relationship mainly of cases of suchas theincidence vandalism, gleanedfrom particular symptoms, is differential district houseprices so forth. and Often,however,this depression, relatedto specificgroups withinthe mass and it is hard to gauge the actual research suchas Tony strongly from heterogeneity, something whichemerges of publishedas Thepeople Parker'sinterview-based accountof a London estate, providence (I983). There have also been a seriesof user studies,usuallyundera largely withthe and taken after relatively short periodofoccupation concerned designfeatures (e.g. DOE I972, thoughsee also functional successof specific of Darke I984). Exceptions have been studiesbased on the transformation in suchas King's research into of buildingforms a wide variety social contexts, thedevelopment thebungalow(I984), and a studyoftheappropriation Le of of Corbusier's'village'ofLe Pressac(Boudon I972) (though is a rather atypical this case).

estate London in Description offieldworka north whichforms basis of thisstudyis takenfroma singlecouncil the The material of London. This estatewas builtin theearlyI970's and consists estatein north in in exhibitsthe 'streets the air' flats low-rise,high-density blocks. It clearly of a philosophyof deck-accessblocks current decade earlier,a reflection the The estate was locally initial and extended planning completion. periodbetween estatesin the area. The atmosas considered unfavourably againstalternative and unfriendly it was known locallyas a 'valium' estate. pherewas generally based on the firstphase of building was relatively The initial settlement successful with a dynamictenants'association,many of the tenantscoming




and from nearby a area,butas theestate grewto thepresent ofover300 flats size betweenestate maisonettes conflicts emergedespeciallyover noise and fights foldedand did children, who wereshortofplay areas.The tenants' association not ariseagain fora decade. Tenantsnotedthelargenumberof pettyquarrels nonbetween neighboursbut on the other hand consideredit a relatively was violent'safe' area,and some at leastsuggestedthatitsnegativereputation 'undeserved'. I interviewed forty tenants (thiswas aroundI3 per cent.of thetotal,in flats from ranging bedsitters three to bedrooms).Thirty-four themallowed me to of in the interiors thestatethey photograph kitchen happenedto be in at thetime. The majority these of households wereeither original tenants' hadlivedon the or for had estate a decadeormore;onlya fifth beenlessthanfiveyearson theestate. The interviews concentrated basicbackground on information aboutthehousethe hold and questions detailsaboutpatterns use of regarding kitchen, including suchas how individual members thehouseholdregarded of the and decoration of attitudes kitchen whatactivities and they associated withit,thepattern visits, to the estate, and the processes which resultedin the presentpatternof I decorations.The information obtainedwas therefore kitchen-based, as but notedin theMass Observationstudyof I94I-2, kitchens were thekey determinateof general to are housingsatisfaction (I943: 55), and remarks thateffect housewivestoday'. commonfrom informal were relatively Wherepossibletheinterviews allowinginformants few formsof information to raisea variety issues,so relatively quantifiable of but weregiven.The aimwas nota formal qualitative samplesurvey, to consider but to factors difficult expressin languageor to excavatefrom practices, which was might emerge as general trends. Additional backgroundinformation with individualsin a positionto assess the general obtainedfrominterviews of of social development theestatesuchas a member a housingactiongroup,a but association.I did notlive on theestate caretaker thehead ofthetenants' and of and tried observepatterns visiting use ofpublicareaswhenpossible. to facilities of identical The intention my studywas to examinehow essentially in The providedbythecouncilhavebeendifferentially employed thelong term. tenantsstartedwith the same blank 'canvas' and the data consist of their over theyears.One possiblefocuscould have been on thesymbolself-design ism ofthedecorations theprinciples 'order'established, in thisarticle of but and theemphasis willbe rather thedegreeto whicha particular on household,faced selected thecouncil,appearsto withtheprovisionof a rangeof furnishings by and transformation the have engagedin some formof 'appropriation' through suchalterations. Almost or factors whichseemedto havefacilitated constrained Most werelong butat all thekitchens werebased on one oftwo basic patterns. of narrow.They already had a system modernfitted around2.4m widthrather and energy cupboardsand thenormalplumbing supplies,butall otherfacilities there werecasesin whichthe wereprovidedbythetenants. thetwo extremes At caseswherethe unaltered from original its kitchen was virtually state,as against occupants had thrown out all the fitments they were provided with and fitted kitchen. in purchaseda commercial My aim was to detectpatterns these or transformations, lack ofthem,and accountforthem.



Therewerelimits whatthetenants to coulddo without engaging structural in alterations giventhepositions cupboards energy watersources.They of and and kitchens withtheusual worksurfaces work 'triangle'. and were modernfitted Eatingwithin kitchens difficult the was becausethey werelong and narrow;the three-bedroom had maisonettes a hatch leadingtoan areaof theloungein which tenants were expectedto put a table. Obvious subjectsforchangeincludedthe and decorations, whitewares (most had purchased black lino floor,curtains fridges, cookersand washingmachines)and thecupboardswhich,apartfrom kitchens whichhad laminatesurfaces, were of wood and therecently installed and hardboard required painting.

Somerelevant variables When conductinga specificanalysiswithinan area such as contemporary London thereare a vast numberof possiblerelevant variablesand questions. Beforeexamining results thisenquiry,severalsuch key areas of debate the of examined.Councilestates, often by maybe verybriefly despite beinginspired a of as variety socialist and welfare philosophies, have commonlybeen regarded having failedto promote the intendedsociability.This has been associated withtenants' consciousness they merely that are of passiverecipients something which theywould otherwisehave wished to have controlover, and indeed councils have traditionally imposed tightrestrictions upon the alterations are occupants allowed to maketo their properties. in Any evidenceforalienation expressed tenants' refusal feel'at home' as to occupantsmay be associatedwithan antagonism either-more narrowly-to in thestateas expressed thecouncil,or-more generally-to theconditionof classand poverty suchthattenants themselves feel conceivedofas thesymbolic 'other' to the privatesector. The modernist image of council housing is a of reflection thecontrolexerted thestatein generaland is a reflection the of by controlexertedby capitalism over both theworkplaceand thedistribution of resources (MillerI984). fromthissituation, foundin current Generalisation as politicaldebates,is problematic.It should not be assumed that tenancyis some universalistic condition,or thatprivateownershiphas some necessaryontologicalconsesuchas Sweden, WestGermany quences. In affluent countries and Switzerland theproportion home ownership of suchas Canada in maybe low and in others decline (Agnew I98I: 67). It is in Britainin particular thatthis relationship operates,where the house and gardenhave become an almostuniversalgoal a between individualism thestate, thecountry and and within setofrelationships and thecity, whicharehardto assimilate continental to models(see R. Williams The focus on the kitchenimplicatesanotherseries of debates around the natureof housewifery. Therehas been a considerable interest thehistory in of thekitchen, on of emphasising theone handthedevelopment domesticscience a to and attempts construct setofnormative modelsforkitchen use, and on the otherthelargenumberof alternative radicalschemeswhichchallengethe and




as primacyof the housewife-kitchen relationship it has developed (Hayden of has concentration research critique been on theplace of I98I). A parallel and houseworkas unpaid labour, in which privatedomain the relatively isolated is housewife reducedto a seriesofvicarious These ensure removal her pursuits. and publicdomains,and construct an fromanyof themoreimportant political of fostered media such as elaboratesub-culture women's domesticaffairs by thisideologicalformof patriarchy women's magazineswhichreproduce (e.g. Barrett McIntoshI982; Coward I984; Davidoff1978). & A possiblealternative to trends perspective may be related certain emergent fromrecent studiesby sociologistsand economists.It may be arguedthatthe as of whichdetermined domesticsphereoriginated theshrine 'spirituality' the fromthepublicdomain (ZaretskyI976). Witha declinein removalof females of theimportance theworkplace, orientation however,has come an increasing towards the home and the privatesphereas the source for futureaffective as The householdhas also reemerged a key arenaforthepooling of relations. resources,as in Pahl's research(I984) on the articulation between different formsof labour. Somewhat neglectedis the consumption-equivalent within which the male may be re-constructed withina new role which provides for a complementary There is evidence for this from gender relationship. industries workwithin home. replacing service by the In theone comparablestudyavailable,based on a sampleof fifty-four both in and council tenants Guildford(which did not, however, owner-occupied examine the actual decorativeorder)Johnston (I980) proposed threemajor in groupings genderrelations. theone handthere On were thosewomen who to followedtraditional models,andwereconcerned keepthevariousrooms role in thehouseas functionally and menin thekitchen. theother specific resented At end were householdswherethe room divisionshad brokendown as had the of gender specificity many household tasks, and the home was essentially as domain.The third of regarded a largely de-segregated family groupconsisted thosewomen who undertheinfluence feminism of looked towardsthe latter to to modelbutwereconstrained practise model andit according thetraditional It was herethatdissatisfaction pronounced. shouldbe noted,however,that was thelargest was owner-occupied, whichis also where groupinJohnston's survey feminist ideas werein evidence. A further is factor theconsiderable majorcontextual impactoftheadvertising kitchenindustry. outputof the fitted Many tenantsare readersof women's magazinesand know of companiessuch as Hygena. In seeing what council tenants itis worthremembering verylargesumsspenton fitted do the kitchens in wortharoundI. 5 billionpounds. Most such by owner-occupiers an industry commercialkitchens based on essentially are identicalmelamine-faced chipboard carcassesand functional differences minor. The tradejournal lists are around?3 00 to?4, ooo basedon kitchens storing sameamount pricesfrom all the of objects,theonlysubstantive difference beingthestylesand materials the of doorsandnameofthecompany.i.e. mostprivate householdsmaybe willingto spend up to thousandsof pounds purelyon stylewithvirtually functional no a from consequences.I analysed sampleofioo suchadvertisements thecompany

work (I978; Gershuny's



on the do-it-yourself based on ethos



was thatthemajororganising dimension brochures fromwhichit was evident That is, therewere theevocationof time (fordetailssee Millerforthcoming). three dominant classes: a) solid wood doors evoking an olde-worldenostalgiastyleassociatedwith driedplants, carvedinsets,leaded glass,itemsof copperand brass,preserves, and old masters pewter; b) A laminatefrontedmodernistform associated with geometricdesigns, non stainless and steel,fruit cut equipment, bright colours,spotlights, kitchen flowers; of c) A mixture laminateand wood associatedwitha mixingof nostalgicand such as modern items and more oftenassociated with practicalfunctions cooking. the On Underlying temporalsymbolismwere two modes of organisation. and the one hand was heterogeneity bricolagewithforexamplechinafroma sets, numberof different such thattheobjectswere not unitedas visual style own past. The opposite relatedto thehouseholder's but impliedmemorabilia in was one of homogeneity, which all itemsrelated organisational principle the to stylistically all others,and it was thevisual cohesionwhichdetermined are forms. These advertisements useful of meaningand acceptability particular in the havea clarity developing logicofcertain becausethey organisational prinpeople'sactualkitchens. equalledin ordinary cipleswhichas we shallsee is rarely of and differences betweentheassumptions advertising There are significant the the experienceof consumers.For example, in advertisements young are forms withthenostalgiastyle.Historiand theelderly shown withmodernist in modernfitted kitchens theI950's wereuniversally callyhowevertheearliest developedin the I960's and thenostalgiastyle ist,themixedpine and laminate based on oak did not take offuntilthe I970's. For the presentgeneration, thatis historical, it nostalgiathatis relatively new. In therefore, is modernism the on interviewing the estateit was the elderlywho most oftenpreferred modernistbrightred and white formsout of a sample of advertisements they were shown, while the young tended to go for the nostalgia styles, althoughseveral of the elderlynoted that they were supposed to like the to nostalgiaformsand would probablyhave respondedaccordingly a simple This is thefirst a seriesof examplesindicating gulf of the verbalquestionnaire. betweenwhat people felttheywere supposed to like and what theyactually identified with. is in A final factor theimpactofdifferences availableresources. In contextual thecommercial worlditis generally assumedthat'doingup' yourkitchen the is as work of owner-occupiers part of a more general strategyof financial and would therefore have littlereasonto become investment, counciltenants foundthatcouncil tenantswere as likelyto Johnston involved. Surprisingly as have made significant alterations their to kitchens thosein theprivate sector thatcounciltenants would makeno money (I980: I20). This is despitethefact and out oftheir kitchens, indeedin theNorthLondon groupmostbelievedthey would have to removeall their and to alterations return kitchen itsoriginal the statebefore in this the theywent,although practice was not actually case. One possible explanationfor this findingmight have been that council




not behindsuch alterations just to a searchfor theywere therefore reducible efficiency. material and social resourcesare variable,and thisvariationwas Certainly evidentin thenorthLondon studygroup,whichincludedninehouseholdsof retired people, six whose adultswere unemployed,foursinglewomen with It but children, also two withfouradultsin employment. would, however,be surprising resourceswere a major determinant if since in periods of over a decade, and using materialswhich were not costly,retiredpeople were in as practice likelyto have undertaken.such changesas householdsof employed of adults, with the exception of the installation an expensive commercial kitchen. would be to assumethattheobjectiveconditions working of An alternative constraints comparedto middleclass as class incomes constitute considerable of life. The key question then would be about the characterisation these certain and constraints whatpermits appropriators groupsto emergeas creative an of their environments, signifying ability to transcendsuch oppressive the conditions. Such a taskis helpedno moreby romanticising workingclassas an immanent themas a mass. We need to learnfromthe societyor deriding thismeanslearning frompeople's actions, successin thisstruggle; differential which oftenprojectaspirations beyond the much more codifiedand perhaps deadening weightoflanguageand legitimacy. as Kitchens canvases mainpopulations, Black dividedintothree of The estateI studiedwas roughly (WestIndian),Irishand local origin.As will becomeevidentthemaincleavage in termsof the materials used in thissurveywas betweenthe local and Irish European) populations.Inpopulationas againstthe Black (and continental is of The followingdescription itiallyI will focuson thekitchens theformer. clusters based primarily aroundnormative upon thedegreeto which organised had These are thenassociatedfirst withhousethekitchens been transformed. to hold form and secondly with household attitudes the kitchenbased on data. These groupswere therefore categories exemplified interview polythetic cases and without invariant definitions. boundary through particular The first group consistedof threecases of singlewhite males. These were conspicuous by marked conservationof the original kitchenfeatures.An malelivingin a bed-sitting room who had no family and examplewas a retired few friends, as he put it, 'you see I'm one of those people . . . I keep to or, but myself'.He did not leave theflatexceptto shop or visitthelibrary in his bedsithe had only thekitchen and bedroomto dwell in. Despite livingthere had was theoriginal blacklino flooring thirteen yearsnothing been done: there

to criteria environment according ergonomic (I980:

housingand therefore kitchens werelessadequatethanthosein owner-occupied was in home required functional improvements. Johnston, whose background a food preparation and economics,carefully investigated numberof standard with the similartasks:althoughthe alterations made did increasesatisfaction thiswas not associatedwithany actualimprovement thefunctional in kitchen

Whatever reasons the



withonly a lightshade and theunitsas theyhad first been installed, added;yet the sinceretirement proportion timehe spentalonein thekitchen of would rival thatof a prisoner solitary in confinement. Another individual appearedequally isolated socially. The third,who was much more inclinedto bring friends had a fewdecorations thekitchen, in aroundto drink, of mainlypaintings the VirginMary. in In contrast thesewas thesole exampleofa nuclear to family whichthemale Here thework done was of a classic claimedto dominatehouseholdactivities. do-it-yourself variety, in resulting considerable physical changebuta complete of and Therewas a new linoflooring, linohad also beencut heterogeneity effect. 'tiles' over the cooker and by the sink. into squares and put up as substitute out of two quite dissimilar Additionalwork-surfaces had been constructed a withnumerousadditions laminates, including neon light.The overallresult was somewhatchaotic. The second groupconsisted fivehouseholds,fourcouples and one single of in mother. did conservatism Although no instances they approachthecomplete the made werefairly of thefirst, alterations and slight.All had netcurtains had suchas a new lino floor a wallpapered or or made at leastone changeofsurface, the This paintedwall, but theyretained basic orderof the originalfitments. workwas closelyassociated witha setofinterviews which degreeofdecorative in came closestto theimage of theisolatedand depressedwoman identified a and the image of this particular numberof studiesof housewifery 'valium' estate. They expressedfearsabout whetherthey would sound 'common', talkedabout theunfriendly atmoscomplainedabout 'coloureds'or squatters, such as 'thereis a tenants' phereon theestate,or made statements association is whereyou canhavea moanbutnothing everdoneaboutit'. Theyvariedfrom the single motherwhere the weight of chores appeared overwhelming, to householdswithseveralwaged workers whose problems seemedto relate more status housewifery. to theunappreciated of The cluster maybe widenedby theaddition parallelcasessuchas that an of of immigrant fromSpain who expressedstrongly feelingthat'such places' the were only for the poor, and showed considerabledisassociationfrom her surroundings.One of the most nervous and depressiveintervieweeswas associatedwith one of the most radicallytransformed kitchens.It emerged, however,thatthesestrongly colouredand largelyintegrated decorations had been carried by hersister out fromwhom she had inherited flat.Although the she referred disparagingly the 'ghastly'orange, in the eight years of her to occupationshehad neverbeenable to changetheseinherited decorations. Such households represented minority mysurvey, the in although sample the was very likely biased towards the sociable by those who refusedto be interviewed. The largestcluster comprised kitchens wheresubstantial changes had beenmadeto thedecorative order.Although cupboardswerewood and the requiredperiodicrepainting, thesekitchens retainedthe originalplain white surfaces. Insteada largenumberof additional objectshad been brought and in used, as it were, to cover the cupboards up. Objects such as teatowels, teacosiesand trays breadboards, wereverycommonand often associated witha aesthetic largebold flowers, particular of cats,dogs and bright patterns. well As




as being placed on surfaces,breadboardsand trays were typicallyplaced vertically against walls withtheir the faceforward emphasise to their decorative nature.Post-cards, souvenirs, cuttings frommagazinesand pictorial calendars mightall be hungor stuckon thewalls. Sometimesthiswas used in matching sets,butthere was also the'biographical' pattern whichno attempt made in was to find orderatthelevelofdesign,rather eachpieceappearedto be a memento of family holidays,as in the commercial or nostalgiastylein which the relation in between objects was maintained the memoriesof the occupantsbut not expressed visually. of The heterogeneity effect withinanyindividual householdwas, however, to suchobjectswerefoundthroughout contrasted withtheextent whichsimilar thegroup.Indeedtheseobjectsand their as decorative designsarequitefamiliar a prevalent in working-class aesthetic Britainand are availablein manyof the largechainstores.They are distinguished their by decorative forms whichare of large, takingup most of the availablesurface the object, with brightbold the As are colouring drawing attention. suchthey often regarded thearbiters by which of tasteas 'vulgar'as againstthemoresubtlebut expensivedecorations are intendedmerelyto enhanceor 'frame'the object of attention (Gombrich '979). It may well be thatthisparticular formof populartaste,foundon theestate, for was inpartaccounted bytherequirement a setofconsumer for objects,often givenas gifts, whichcould thenbe employedto personalise properties which did not belongto theoccupants.This tenants' aesthetic was used to coverover saw as theintrusive and draw attention away fromwhat theoccupantsclearly of signifiers their housingstatus.The cupboardswere, of course,utilisedbut in hereremainedalien, to be submerged a welterof bricolage.This strategy, whichmightbe complementary others(forexamplein otherrooms within to the flats),was also especiallyassociated with single (includingwidowed) an alteration thekitchen merely to but women, involvingas it did no physical of organisation consumer goods. In complete to a contrast thisstrategy fewwomenappearedto havedeveloped a verypowerful withthekitchen in decorative order evident their relationship and associated with informants'identification with traditionalnetworks whichtheybecamewhatone oftheinformants referred as 'kitchento through had beencoveredwitha strong colouredlaminate or birds'.Here thecupboards such as curtains, paint and all decorations wallpaperand floorcoveringshad chosento create effect complete an of within which been carefully homogeneity all itemsin thevisualfieldco-ordinated a colourscheme.For kitchen-birds, as thekitchen The aesthetic was a focaldomainforfemale, notmale,visitors. but on for visits was as the emphasis thekitchen itself context tea-drinking exchange comparable to Gullestad's (I984) study in Bergen, Norway of a far more developed 'kitchen-table' societybased on very powerfulfemalenetworks. Interview evidencesuggested thaton thisestate,as in virtually everystudyof British the were withfamily, working-class networks, dominant relationships sisters mothers, and forexamplevisiting withfriendship second usuallytaking place. The final two groupsconsisted onlytwo caseseach. Two kitchens been of had



transformed theextent they to that werevirtually In replacement fitted kitchens. one thefitted unitswere largelyretained thedoors replacedwithwooden but Therewerea variety other of doors,and thewall coveredwithwood panelling. wooden objectssuchas breadbinsplacedon theworksurface. effect not was The entirely homogeneous,as some of the woods variedand the doors were the wrongsize forthecupboardsand had had to be putsidewayson. All suchdoors were carvedin what the commercialsectorterms'cathedralarch' style.The othercase employedsimilardoors of different woods but withan astonishing backdrop. The occupant had taken some old wood, stained it black, and it fake'oak' beamsgoingacrosstheceiling arranged in a seriesoffour and down thewalls. Furthermore one side had been constructed fakechimney on a breast whichled down to whathad beenmade to look likea 'medieval'open fireplace intoa space forstoring 'converted' saucepansand suchlike.The floorcovering lino. was a mottled 'old stone'effect Finallycame two instances replacement of fitted kitchens boughtcommerestimated cost around?2,000, was carriedout duringthe to cially.The first, had been closerto thebricolage periodof study.On thefirst visit,thekitchen withsome matching elements. The new fitted kitchen cover-upaesthetic, was whitewith'classic'internal rectangular beadingand a whiteworktop.This was in setagainst blue-grey the found thenew flooring curtains pickedup by and and a variety objectssuch as a set of three of a cylindrical containers, cassette radio and a greytraywithan internal and whiterectangle some blue and whitechina from previouskitchen, pieces.Virtually nothing remained the eventhearray of houseplantswas replacedby one in a dominantgreyceramicplantpot. The was entirety highlighted a seriesof ceilingspotlights. by The overall look, evoking the picturesin advertising brochures, was also foundin the otherpurchasedkitchen, which looked to have been stillmore expensive, though no cost was given. The degree of order and style was comparable,althoughthis kitchenhad been built four years previously.It a incorporated splitleveloven andextractor neonstrip a fan, lighting, wallpaper of fake'terracotta' tilesand a floorof 'fake' stone. Apartfroma double spice rack, some matchingchina and a utensilrack therewas a markedlack of additional objects. The particular nature thedominant of patterns revealedby thissequencewas further clarified its withanother through contrast population whichhad reacted in a very different fashionto the same circumstances. There was no a priori reason to expectthatethnicity would represent major line of cleavage and, a undertheinfluence a study householdobjectsinChicago (Csikszentof of partly mihalyi& Rochberg-HaltonI98I) and Wallman's work in Battersea(I982; I984), I was anticipating itwould be atmosta secondary that issue.This was not thecase, however. Therewereseveralcases whichcould bestbe understood terms specific in of for ethnicity: example,thesingleSouthAsianhouseholdwithitsarrays trays of of vegetables from whichit had recently comparableto thecontext arrived, or theSpanishfamily workingfortheir embassywithitsverylargewine rackand extensive of collection ceramics, wine pourersand othersouvenirs.The major contrast, however,lay betweenthetendency described just (either coverup to




or to replacefitments), thetypical and pattern amongstblackhouseholders: to construct visualpatterns strong based on painting unitsand usingthesame the or contrastive colours for floors,walls and ornaments.Brown, orange and purplewerethedominant colours,whilewhenthewhitetenants paintunits did theyweremorelikelyto use blue and green.Therealso tendedto be a different use of ornament,which was less centralto the design organisation.One of exampleconsisted fitted units painted light brown.All wood workwithin the kitchen had been paintedthesame colour and thiswas complemented the by painting theceiling, of fakebrown'tiles'on thefloor and in thewallpaper,a set ofwooden chairs and a smokedglasslightshade.More commonwas theuse of brighter orangeand purplein contrastive modes, as in diagonaleffects within tiling.Not onlyblack tenants order.A Cypriotcase employedthisdecorative was conspicuous by the lack of object bricolage and homogeneityof its matching browncolourscheme. This strategy was dominantamongstthe black populationbut was by no meansa rule.Therewas an overlapbetweenthedifferent populations, especially had amongsttheyoung,and manykitchens elements from different strategies, suchas a 'biographical' whichstillemployeda fewmatching cover-upstrategy items.At their mostextreme dominant the decorative of strategies thetwo main an populationsconstituted inversion.One was centredon the structural elements to which additionalobjects were subservient, the other made the structural fitments subservient the object bricolage.The 'kitchento entirely bird'form, this within whitepopulation. the however,carried inversion Another difference theuse madebysomeblackhouseholdsofthebackof was thekitchen. itsmostextreme areawas coveredfrom At this floorto ceilingby a massivepile of disparate objectssuch as brokensewingmachines and piecesof In furniture. the two cases of a three-generation femalehousehold,one exhibitedthisdisorder suchan extreme to suggestan inability cope, but the to as to in other verysimilar circumstances showedno suchtendency. One oftheother casescommented thesituation theform a chinaspoon hungon one wall on in of on whichwas inscribed likemykitchen be cleanenoughto be healthy 'I to and untidy enoughto be happy'. the determinants Analysis: social ofdecorative strategies in and bothinterview visualdatahavebeenprovided theabove survey Although there was one substantialdiscrepancybetween them. While discussions of considerations such as changescarriedout or intended emphasisedfunctional of theproblems cooking,ofsmellsor ofserving food,thesedid notemergeas a in distinction majorfactor theactualchangesmade. Boudon notedan identical in that of in hisstudy householders Le Corbusier's villageof Pessac. He suggests while the functional householder was clear,takenas a logic of any particular group the degree of contradiction suggestedthatthe actual key factorslay elsewhere (I972: 83). In theLondon groupone householder's amplespace was, foranother, withnumbersof 'totally inadequate'(withno evidentcorrelation children similar and and itemsshouldbe aboutwhereindividual factors) feelings placed varied considerably.This echoes Johnston's(I980) more systematic



of survey thedisparities between ergonomic functions, languageandobservable changes. This may in part account for differences these findingsand those of in Bourdieu (I984). His construction the major dimensions which tasteis of by in organised Franceis largelybased on verbalresponses questionnaires. to His conclusions tasteis summarised 'Necessityimposes regarding working-class as a taste necessity for whichimpliesa form adaption of and consequent acceptance traditional Britishparlour (Roberts I973) devoted to unused space and its decorations whichBourdieureducedto mereeffect (I984: 379-80). Stilltoday, when parloursare effectively forbidden the architectural by the profession, two-thirds tenants of who mentioned subject this kepta specialareain themain out if room fortheir best,brought at Christmas at all. financial resources not did Although theycould be onlyroughly determined, emergeas a significant and factor exceptin thetwo casesofa purchased kitchen, in even there one case it was theresources children of livingoutsidetheestate as from whichwas crucial.By contrast, evident bothverbalandvisualevidence, thefact beinga tenant considerably of did affect livesofmanyofthesepeople the (thismight well be less trueon a terraced street whereone's housingstatus was in not so immediately evident). Most revealingwere the disjunctures what claimed thatwhat theyreally people said. For example, severalinformants thatalthoughtheyalreadyhad a wantedwas a 'fitted kitchen'.This suggested fitted for for arrayof floorand wall units,as in advertisements fitted kitchens, thema 'real' fitted was one purchased, kitchen not allocated. Certaintenants whenaskedto select from notedthat would have preferred styles examples, they chosen the nostalgiamode but forthe factthattheywere in a council estate -that is, theidealstheyassociatedthemselves withwere rendered pretentious circumstances. There was also a claimedlack of knowledgeabout the by their of I980 HousingActwhichsubstantially improved tenants' rights alteration and in use independence their oftheir properties. Tenantsmostly heldthat whatever was done would have to be put back to its originalstatebeforeleaving the thishad hardly everhappened.In generalthere property, althoughin practice was a markedantipathy the councilwhichwas seen as failing be present to to when needed (forrepairs example),but at thesame timean alienpresence for aroundthem. The examplesofreplacement, near-replacement, or kitchens wereinteresting here. The images portrayedin the commercialbrochuresassociated such kitchens their and carvedor beadeddoorswith'middle-class' It life-styles. may be no coincidencethatthe two householdswith replacement kitchenswere amongst the few who provided unsolicitedand quite vehementstatements suchas aboutbeing'ordinary working-class folk',whichin everyother respect, was clearly case. Negativefeelings or the aboutthe present previous occupation, in in councilwereexpressed other statements suchas 'theystick a cupboardhere and a cupboardthere and say that'salright, they're onlycommonpeople, they won't know thedifference'. was considerable On thewhole thenthere evidenceto suggestthatthewhite population felta deep unease about theirhousehold consumptionstatus as

of thenecessary' (I984:


This looks verystrange whenset against the



reflected resentment feelings beingstigmatised. in and of tenants, Furthermore theyclearly associatedthefitments withthecouncil,as providedin thekitchen the of in objectsembodying their materiality intrusive signification their status. Three main strategies were evidentin responseto thissituation alienation. of as of One was passive,in whichalienation interiorised thefutility actionand was environment an inability appropriate material to withinwhich one lived. the to construction impose a facade to The second was an attempt use aesthetic as the and whichas far possibledrewattention awayfrom fixtures towardsitems a chosenby or associatedwith the tenants. And finally, critical directly point was reachedwhere the alien formswere themselves expelled or thoroughly transformed replacedwith either and purchasedor builtconstructions the by it such commoditieswere tenants.In such a situation seemed thatin practice for than viewed as havingmuchgreater potential identification itemsprovided by thestate. structure social inequalof This, however,mustbe setwithintheparticular was no intrinsic of ities.That there linkagebetweenforms distribution the and was evidentfroma contrast withintheestatewiththe experience alienation of remaining third thepopulation.Interviews of withblacktenants confirmed the evidence of theirdecorativestrategies. Althoughvarious otherresentments the like as were expressed, actualfactof being tenants not seem anything did central their to aboutthisstatus saw but identity. They weregenerally negative it more oftenas transitional something to else, and in thatrespect providinga valuable opportunity. They did not appear to have the feelingof alienation of to As derivedfroman introjection thisconditionas integral theiridentity. of statusin Britaindiffer notedabove, theconnotations housingconsumption markedly from,forexample, continental Europe, and the black population, its as in constructing identity a group, mightwell on occasion have been with theirneighbours rather than theirexperience interiorising contrastively empathetically. The same contrastssuggest that the interviewevidence should not be in as interpreted direct evidenceforany objectivefaults thelocal council. The councilherewas a projection thetenants their construction self-images in of by to as victimsor combatants.The attitude the council was oftenambivalent, as saw themselves workingclass and many becauseat thesame timeall tenants would favourably situation withpreviousprivate rented comparetheir present of 'slums'. For some accommodationor the alternative bed and breakfast since full appropriation people, such an ambivalencemightbe debilitating, clearsenseofovercoming. appearedto be assisted a relatively by Sartre perhaps in thesetensions hislater work(I976) wherehe impliesthat over-abstracted true social relationsonly emergein the union of terrorism againstan oppressive levelan agonistic framework order,butat thismoremundane appearedto help. of The appropriation the state,could not, however,be separatedofffrom contextual of was equallyimportant factors, whichthemostsignificant gender. In Johnston's and surveytheidea and ideals of feminism sexual equalityhad a of markedeffect thefeelings associationand disassociation on householdsfelt for theirkitchens.In my own study,however, which did not include the was remarkably little evidenceof suchideas and owner-occupied sector,there



was thatthekitchen was essenvalues; themost commonlyexpressedfeeling tiallya woman's domain in which men helped in a few specifictasks but was for shouldstayout. The male'sown distaste thekitchen strongest otherwise and amongsttheIrishimmigrants weakestamongstWest Indianimmigrants. littleinto this had popularfeminism permeated But if a decade of apparently in unremarked transformation male conceptionsof their area, the relatively effect. home rolehad had a quitepronounced of The evidencesuggeststhatunlikethehigh artsthe aesthetic the home is femalecentred(compareParker& Pollock I98I). The increasing exclusively in amountof timespentby malesin thehome has resulted a new role,based on But of labouras thesiteforthedevelopment masculinity. thelinkwithphysical menhavingnothing do with to operatesthrough thisnew symbolicsymbiosis are to themthey in mostcasesentirely impotent, a design.Without female direct theirspecifically assigned but when given theirdirection theythenperform has in tasks.As Gershuny demonstrated his partof a studyin 'do-it-yourself' saw and hand saw are the domesticitems drill,electric Batterseathe electric male-associated (WallmanI982: I65). mostexclusively in in themselves otherrooms Males may show more initiative expressing was but whicharenotso strongly female-associated, theevidenceofmysurvey to thatamong the whitepopulation,physicallabour was subservient design. The most extremecases showed the impotenceof single males to enact any in physical changes. Women were more flexible, thattheywould undertake labour when no male was available for such work. In the main, however, thanphysically rather theirenvironment using aesthetic femalestransformed media. expressive were again kitchens or The small group of replacement near-replacement with kin instructive here.Therewas a strong and gendercomplementarity, the (i.e. of females bothdirecting beingseenas therecipients thisexpenditure it and the was done forthem),and the males as physically undertaking transformaclearthatthecoupleswereseenas coming tions.In two casesitwas particularly and the as to status tenants, affirming powerofkinship together overcometheir in and marriage thisstruggle. of The situation could be describedas the emergence a neo-traditionalism. which of philosophies equalityand feminism of Despite thepressure modernist presenceof and of promotedthediminution sexual distinction, theincreasing men in thehome, theevidencesuggeststhatmen did not takeon any greater Rathertheolder use of the public-private shareof householdresponsibilities. as divisionto expressgenderhad been renegotiated a formalsymboliccomspheres within gendered between whatwas seenas theappropriate plementarity thehome. As in manyanthropological studiesgenderis perhapsbestseen not division from which two a priori from the perspectiveof an essentialist but interests, categoriesof male and femalecome to the world with specific ratheras being constructed throughthe culturaldevelopmentof relational forms. of not Genderon theestatemight be a simplecontinuation some 'traditional' e.g. Whitehead segregation order(whichmay have tendedto a simpler family which could evoke such traditions. I978), but an emergentconstruction




Women as housewivesdefined in themselves relation households,but this to unlessthe maritalcouple had a mechanism categorycould remainunrealised relevant their to contemporary conditions through whichtheyconstructed the The result householdas an activity. was a denialof theintegrity thefemale of housewife,and especiallythe single male, and a stresson the necessity a of and whichwas broughttogether the complementary dynamicrelationship in practice 'labour' in thetransformation an alienating of of environment an into form.In thiscase thekitchen, appropriated although occupiedby onlyone sex, was an objectification thegenderrelationship theincompleteness its of and of in constitutive elements themselves. Whatthisimplies that is evenunderpresent circumstances bestunderstood a genuine be conditions, gender mayin certain as dialectic. The black populationclearlydid not conform thesegeneralisations. to The interviews thetransformations and indicated that there was notthesame gender split. Single black males showed a positive attitudeto their kitchenand producedelaborate decorations tiling(and discussions cooking)without and of female guidance. The backgroundto this may well be the strong gender autonomyobservedin studiesof West Indiansocieties,associatedwitha high incidence female-headed of households(e.g. Massiah I983). A tradition which asserts separate of a male is in a sense the viability householdswithout resident less debilitating the male who has to construct male centreddomestic for a with a relativedegreeof autonomous sphere,since eachsex may defineitself control. relations further a has in Within thesegender expressive dichotomy arisen the 'kitchen-bird' distinction betweenmodernistic and homogenisation thenostalSimilardivisionshave been shown in gic bricolageof the cover-upaesthetic. of as to otherstudiesto relate therelative importance kinship againstfriendship and lengthof timespentin thearea, withmodernist stylebeingused to build new communities, nostalgiato cementolder ones (compare especiallyPratt shouldnot be viewed as superficial inauthentic. or As I98I). These differences and citypolarityin Williamshas shown, the parallelevocationof a country construction these of literature may be equally farfromthe actual historical themfrombeing but domainsundermoderncapitalism, thisdoes not prevent of or mediafortherepresentation idealworlds,marking highlighting powerful

historical particular conjunctures Williams (R. I973:

of and is relations gender tenancy a moregeneral about Underlying argument the linkagebetweenwork done on the kitchenand the natureof the social of to relations consumption.One of the clearest generalisations emergefrom my studywas the link between people who seemed lonely, depressedand an isolated,and thelack of decorative development. contrast, By constructing of creative objectification thehouseholdand its relationships through activity of appeared a strong signifier an active social involvement.Though this was commonly based on kinoutsidetheestate intra-household, or it sociability forexample, husband-wife was oftenthe relationships affection of between, and parent-child whichwere expressed(by thisI do not mean therelations of equalityimpliedin the termsymmetry in Young & WillmottI973) since (as was little there evidencefortheseon theestate).




The replacement and near-replacement kitchens and theirlink with social the cases. One householdwas almosttheonly involvement represented extreme to lived (or at least were continually be seen) on the couple thateffectively as outsidetheir and it corridor flat, used theestate though was a classicEast End neighbourhood (Young & Willmott I957). Another head and activeparticias tenants'associationwas also amongstthe most pant in the newly reformed the of or sociallyinclined.By contrast, two clusters entirely largelyunaltered of kitchens were expressive a verydifferent condition.The isolationof one of the single males was described above. In the other cluster,although the of in housewiveswere mainlymembers households,whatwas registered their material world was precisely isolationand lack of valuationwhichis often the of as The ideal objectified the in theexperience housewifery a core of identity. unrealised. demandsa responsive neo-traditionalist family mayoften remain It conformed fromthemale, and thiscluster attitude closelyto theimage of the of housewife evokedby Oakley (I976) in herclassiccritique thisform labour. of The background thiswas theevidenceforhighvaliumintakeand constant to to as bickering.The antipathy neighbourliness against the high regardfor was itself, privacywhichwas evidentfrominterviews however,hardlynew. The close neighbourhoods theEaling filmstudiosof the I940's were by no of meansan accurate reflection actualsocialinteraction working of in classdistricts as was made abundantly clearby thesurveysmade in the same period (Mass to ObservationI943: 208). Apartfroman antipathy one's immediateneighin involvement. bours, less than i in ioo expressedany interest community factor in for The more important behindany deterioration conditions housewives as evidentfromvarioussociological studiesis likelyto be the relative absenceof closekin. This divisionin consumption relations suchthatin some householdsgender difference became thebasis of an alienated isolationand in otherswas constiin tutiveof cultural of dynamics expressed theactivity appropriation, findsan interesting parallelin the much more developed sociology of the divisionof labour.In Pahl'srecent work(I984; Pahl& WallaceI985) as in mostof the in articles thebook Beyond & employment (Redclift Mingione I985), it is shown thatinformal labour and exchangesof labour are not an alternative formal to but an waged employment rather additional resource whichmay be exploited once a foundation financial of resources secured.Transformation kitchens is of in theestate a senserepresents equivalent theareaofconsumption. in in the The of appropriation the home is not a substitutive vicarious activitybut a or material of objectification certain socialresources availablein theconstruction of householdidentity which in turnprovidesa foundation the formation for of larger networks. It is, however,difficult determine to socialnetworks fromthekindofverbal I information recovered.Gullestad(I984) noted in her Norwegian case that informants claimedto have little concern withwhatotherpeople thought, but theiractions were highlynormative and gregarious.In the case of the present surveypeople indicateda greatdeal of such concernwith what otherpeople of mightsay and yet may rarelyhave had experience any actual evaluation. 'Neighbours'became a kindof collective super-egoin whichnormative order




there and itself Once thiswas established, internally. was interiorised expressed of authority. need fortheassertion actualexternal was little

Conclusion is on perspective production thatwhichrefuses Ifthemostwidelyused critical (since commoditiesare the to acceptthatwork is otherthana social activity thenthesame may be said of self-producing), resultof labourand not merely as whichis also sometimes by mystified beingregarded merely consumption, facedby council nature theproblems of or vicarious passive.Despitethespecific tenants(the focus of this article),the same overall problematicwould be in encountered both privatehousingand underan equitablesocialism. In all to of mustenter into creative strategies consumption thesecases householders created,even if theyfeelfar thatwhichtheyhave not themselves appropriate home. builttheir morepositiveaboutthecorporate body that trivialactivitiesas To see this, however, we have to regard apparently to social theories from concerns. of The failure mostcurrent profound deriving has activities such as home decoration itsrootsin have regardto consumption of and themoregeneral denigration consumption othersuch 'women's work'. of Ifhousewifery to be condemned itslackofpossibilities self-actualisation is for (it (Oakley I976: 222-33), itis notso muchbecauseofitsobjectivenature is not thanindustrial throughsocial a priori less susceptible work forappropriation and at labour),butbecauseofourrefusal bothordinary academiclevelsto regard of it as otherthantrivial.The results Gullestad's(I984) studyargue strongly againstthe common assumptionthatthe materialconditionsof housework of form work. makeitperforce individualising private an and employedin mass the to is This argument notintended romanticise strategies The evidencefromthiscase studyis fora complementarity closely activity. could be disaggreand linked to inequality.Potentially difference hierarchy to gated,but it would be unreasonable expecta clearmodel of ideal consumpstrategies from conditions the underwhichactualconsumption tion,extricated mustbe developed. Equally work done on kitchens may have quite different in It cultural context. hasbeenargued, whenperformed someother implications intrinsic of significance thecontradictions for principle however,thata general of some strategies to industrial fromtheobservation societymaybe recovered formof consumpWhenrecognised a legitimate as such activities. underlying an important arenawhose goal is the social tiontheyindicatethatthismay be thatis sociallyproductive of culture through dialectical, production inalienable in This inalienability derivesfroman activity which objects become labour. whichareconstructive socialrelations. of integral aspectsofprocesses

CentralResearch The surveyon thecouncilwas aided by a grantfromtheLondon University of on and F. toJ. Fund. I am grateful Atfield, Edholm,M. Jolly M. Rowlandsforcomments a draft in whose recent paperson gender New Guineaprovedan important and thisarticle to M. Strathern to stimulus theanalysis.



basis tookplaceon an intermittent duringI986-7. Householdswereapproached The fieldwork a or immediately establishing moreconvenient interviewing on knocking doorsand either through as was visit).In mostcases themaininformant specified thepersonwho timefora visit(or return in room other were held informally the sitting but use had primary of thekitchen, as interviews commonlytook part.Thereare two likelysourcesof bias ifthisgroupis takenas members family a of representative theestateas a whole. Firstly bias againstworkinghouseholdssincemore visits than in the eveningsor at weekends, and secondly a bias were held on weekday afternoons made to but weredetected no response wheresoundsofoccupancy to corresponding thoseinstances females it often (as to thedoorbell,and whichmaybe supposedto have corresponded singleelderly was did in thosecaseswherean interview refused).


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S'approprier 1'etatdans la cite de H.L.M.

Resume Ce memoires'occupe de la nature la consommation de dansune soci6t6 I1 industrielle. examine la mani&re laquelleles locataires par dansune cit6de H. L. M. ontdecor6ettransform6 cuisine. leur Les locatairest6moignent differences des frappantes dans la capacit6 s'approprier facilit6s de des offertes la mairie.Ceci est consid6r6 fonction genre,de l'ethnique d'autres6l6ments. par en du et Une telle perspectiveillustrela nature dialectique de la categoriedu genre sous certaines conditions.Cela met 6galementen relief potentiel le dynamiquede la consommationa long terme,comme une ar&nedans laquelle des groupessociaux essaientde transformer biens des alienablesen culture inalienable. Cependant,ils sontsouventincapables d'accomplirce but.