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Product, competence, project and practice: DIY and the dynamics of craft consumption

Watson, M. and Shove, E. (2008) Product, competence, project and practice: DIY and the dynamics of craft consumption. Journal of Consumer Culture, 8 (1). pp. 69-89. ISSN 1469-5405


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Studies of ordinary (as distinct from spectacular) forms of consumption have generated new questions and new ways of thinking about mechanisms and processes of change and about the conceptual status of consumer goods. No longer exclusively framed as semiotic resources deployed in the expression and reproduction of identities and social relations, products are increasingly viewed as essential ingredients in the effective accomplishment of everyday life. In this article we examine the recursive relation between products, projects and practices with reference to DIY and home improvement – an important area of craft consumption and a field in which consumers are actively and creatively engaged in integrating and transforming complex arrays of material goods. Interviews with DIY practitioners and retailers point to a circuit of interdependent relations between the hardware of consumption (tools, materials, etc.); distributions of competence (between humans and non-humans); the emergence of consumer projects and, with them, new patterns of demand. In elaborating on these practical and theoretical linkages we develop an analysis of the material dynamics of craft consumption that bridges between approaches rooted in science studies, material culture and consumption.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2008 Sage. This is an author produced version of a paper subsequently published in Journal of Consumer Culture. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Keywords: DIY, practice theory, consumption, craft, competence
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Department of Geography (Sheffield)
Funding Information:
FunderGrant number
ESRC/AHRC Cultures of Consumption ProgrammeUNSPECIFIED
Depositing User: Dr Matt Watson
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2012 13:43
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 17:40
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1469540507085726
Status: Published
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1177/1469540507085726
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/74632

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