Households and ‘Home Cultures’

Victor Buchli

in The Oxford Handbook of Material Culture Studies

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780199218714
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology

 Households and ‘Home Cultures’

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  • Archaeology
  • History and Theory of Archaeology
  • Landscape Archaeology


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The domestic sphere or ‘home cultures’ as the term is used here is the location of many disciplinary investigations into the home. It is in the domestic sphere that one investigates the key elements of the human condition. This article's essence happens to be households and home cultures. It is where family, gender, and the nature of the individual are understood. It is also where the basic elements of cosmology and religious life and the elemental context for the understanding of political and economic life are lived and perceived. Here public and private realms are forged; nature/culture boundaries are created and negotiated. The home is typically how we know the world and know about people who inhabit the world. It is the key point of orientation for members of a given society as it is to its visitors and outsiders. A study of the gradual change in the domestic realm in the twentieth century concludes this article.

Keywords: households; domestic sphere; home cultures; cosmology; religious life; domestic realm

Article.  6993 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; History and Theory of Archaeology ; Landscape Archaeology

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