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Dirty laundry. Everyday practice, sensory engagement and the constitution of identity

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 December 2005

SARAH PINK
Affiliation:
Department of Social Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU, UKs.pink@lboro.ac.uk
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Abstract

In this article I analyse material from a video ethnography of British domestic laundry processes to examine different individual approaches to the sensory nature and evaluation of clean and dirty laundry. Drawing from recent work in the anthropology of the senses I suggest that an analysis of different individual sensory experiences of and narratives about modern western laundry processes can lead to a series of anthropological reflections about how these are constitutive of identities, moralities, human agency and processes by which conventions change.

Dans cet article, j'analyse grâce à des films ethnographiques des processus de lessive domestique en Grande Bretagne afin d'examiner différentes approches individuelles à la nature sensorielle et à 1'évaluation du linge propre ou sale. Empruntant aux travaux récents de l'anthropologie des sens, je suggère qu'une analyse de différentes expériences et récits sensoriels individuelles de lessive en occident peut initier une série de réflexions anthropologiques et montrer que ces expériences sont constitutives des identités, vecteur de sens moral, d'agencement humain et de changement des conventions.

Dieser Artikel ist eine Analyse eines ethnographischen Videos über Abläufe rund um die britische Haushaltswäsche. Das Ziel ist, verschiedene, individuelle Annäherungen an die sensorischen Aspekte und Beurteilung von sauberer und dreckiger Wäsche zu untersuchen. Auf neueste Erkenntnisse innerhalb der Anthropologie der Sinneswahrnehmung gestützt, schlage ich eine Analyse verschiedener Sinneserfahrungen beim Wäschewaschen sowie eine Untersuchung der Erzählungen über Abläufe des modernen westlichen Wäschewaschens vor. Ich zeige auf, wie diese Auseinandersetzungen zu einer ganzen Reihe von anthropologischen Reflexionen führen, nämlich wie Abläufe des Wäschewaschens Identitäten konstituieren und Einfluss auf Moral, menschliches Handeln und Konventionsverschiebungen nehmen.

En este artículo analizo material etnográfico en video sobre los procesos nacionales de la lavandería británica para examinar los diferentes acercamientos individuales a la naturaleza sensorial y evaluación de la ropa limpia y sucia. Haciendo uso de antropología reciente sobre los sentidos, propongo que un análisis de las diferentes experiencias sensoriales individuales y de las narrativas sobre los procesos de lavandería occidentales puede conducir a una serie de reflexiones antropológicas sobre cómo éstas son constitutivas de las identidades, moralidades, agencia humana y procesos a través de los cuales cambian las convenciones.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© Cambridge University Press 2005

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