A view through a window: social relations, material objects and locality

Hirsch, S. and Smith, A. (2018) A view through a window: social relations, material objects and locality. Sociological Review, 66(1), pp. 224-240. (doi:10.1177/0038026117724068)

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Abstract

In this article the authors ask what it would mean to think sociologically about the window as a specific material and symbolic object. Drawing on qualitative analysis of a series of comparative interviews with residents in three different streets in a diverse local area of Glasgow, they explore what the use and experience of windows tells us about their respondents’ very different relationships to the places where they live. On the one hand, the window, as a material feature of the home, helps us grasp the lived reality of class inequality and how such inequality shapes people’s day-to-day experience. On the other hand, windows are symbolically charged objects, existing at the border of the domestic and public world. For this reason, they feature in important ways in local debates over the appearance, ownership and conservation of the built environment. The article explores these struggles, and shows what they reveal about the construction of belonging in the neighbourhood, a process which is both classed and racialised at one and the same time.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Smith, Dr Andrew and Hirsch, Dr Shirin
Authors: Hirsch, S., and Smith, A.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:Sociological Review
Publisher:SAGE
ISSN:0038-0261
ISSN (Online):1467-954X
Published Online:28 July 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Authors
First Published:First published in Sociological Review 66(1):224-240
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
618341Location Dynamics, Owner Occupation and Ethnicity in ScotlandAndrew SmithEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/K006460/1SPS - SOCIOLOGY
592092Understanding the changes in ethnic relations: understanding the dynamics of ethnicity, identity and inequality in the uk.Satnam VirdeeEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/K002198/1SPS - SOCIOLOGY