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Title: Significant objects in migrants' experience
Author: Attan, Caroline Amanda.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3432 3690
Awarding Body: University of Portsmouth
Current Institution: University of Portsmouth
Date of Award: 2002
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Objects are involved in complex overlapping relations of significance and the programme of research examines how the choices and arrangement of significant objects articulates self-identity across discontinuity in life experience. In-depth interviews with migrants and the ancestors of migrants in the living rooms of their homes focus on objects and furniture to examine the role of the object in supporting identity in differing degrees of migratory dislocation. The research investigates the role of the object as both internal and external supports through migration and re-integration through different generations. The investigation draws on key literatures in anthropology, philosophy and creative writing to support issues concerning the transition caused through migration and the structuring of the home in a new cultural environment. The first chapter explores how generic social meaning attached to objects becomes less relevant as the relationship between the individual and the object deepens through the passage of time. The second chapter examines patterns concerning the arrangement and selection of objects in the living room and how the physical interaction with objects structure memory and supports a personal narrative. The third chapter examines how objects and furniture are used to define the life-stages through the process of migration and become indicators of a personal history. A subculture is identified that both assimilates the cultural experience of their country of birth and their migrant ancestry. In conclusion, the relationship between these discussions demonstrates how significant objects are used by the individual to develop and define memories and thoughts. This study contributes to the literature of material culture by identifying the layering of memories attached to significant objects and how objects are used as personal supports through discontinuity caused by cultural dislocation and act as a catalyst for the inter-gene rational transfer of memories and cultural inheritance.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Spatial organisation Demography Anthropology Folklore Psychology