Tag Archives: consumption

Slides and draft paper from ESS 2019: paper – Decluttering and Its Discontents

Eight trash bags full of clothing to be donatedMuch like the other attendees and presenters at the 89th Annual Meeting of the Eastern Sociological Society in Boston (March 14-17), I had a little set of slides to go with my paper, but technology in the meeting section of the hotel was spotty. So we improvised, gathering around the digital hearth (my rickety laptop) when we couldn’t get the projector to talk to any devices. Here is a summary of my paper below, and a link to the slide set. Here’s a link to the draft paper. This paper is part of my larger project on self-storage in the US. A summary: from Paper Session 322: Status and Consumption. US national publications fielded a spate of anti-decluttering, first-person essays in the past two years, preoccupied with the problem of “clutter shaming.” There’s very little work in sociology in the US on stuff management. Self-help literature, paradoxically, advises individual-level management techniques but treats it as a social problem. Growth of the self-storage industry is often cited. Self-storage industry’s marketing materials (to potential customers and investors) have increasingly picked up on similar defensive themes about the too-much-stuff problem. It tries to enlist academic psychology in the process, awkwardly.

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Work in Progress – Ten by Ten, Climate Controlled: An Exploration of the Self-Storage Industry in America

updated April 2019

I’ve written about my current project in some draft papers posted on ResearchGate and Academia.edu.paved path through two rows of storage units

These are: the paper that I based a panel talk on at the ASA Consumers and Consumption Mini-Conference in August 2018, and the one from a panel talk at the Eastern Sociological Society in March 2019.

A little general intro to the project here …