Domestic Objects and the Taste Epiphany: A Resource for Consumption Methodology.
The presentation of an aesthetic identity involves the accomplishment of a coherent, plausible narrative which links one's choices to desired characteristics of the self. As symbolic evidence of a person's taste, material culture is a vital component of a successful narrative. Via case studies of pivotal household objects, this paper uses face-to-face interview data as a way of investigating processes of aesthetic choice. Household objects are interpreted as material elements imbricated in the presentation of a socially plausible and internally consistent aesthetic self. Narrative analysis, and the concept of the epiphany-object, are proposed as useful ways of accounting for tastes in domestic material culture. Methodological questions of truth-telling and authenticity in the face-to-face context are considered, and the sociological problem of taste is scrutinized in light of ideas about social accountability and textual identity.
Journal of Material Culture