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Under the kitchen surface : domestic products and conflicting constructions of home.

Martens, L. and Scott, S. (2006) 'Under the kitchen surface : domestic products and conflicting constructions of home.', Home cultures., 3 (1). pp. 39-62.


This paper examines how the product world around domestic cleanliness plays with the dual construction of the home as safe and dangerous. By participating in this construction, cleaning products engage with a salient concern in domestic life—how to achieve and maintain a safe domestic environment. We have investigated the discursive commentary on domestic cleanliness and safety in one domestic advice manual: Good Housekeeping magazine, over the period 1951-2001. This investigation has also provided insights into the discursive character of cleaning products. We have been interested in how product discourse moves the home discursively from exhibiting dangerous tendencies towards the attainment of safety through the utilization of products. However, reading product narratives over the late modern period makes it apparent that competition and the need for product innovation in an otherwise difficult market has created complexities that confront the domestic sphere with more dangers. We draw out the consequences of our findings and reflect on how this informs the assertion made by Ger and Yenicioglu (2004) about the connections between contemporary consumer culture, cleanliness and the domestic safe haven.

Item Type:Article
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Record Created:08 Aug 2008
Last Modified:26 Jan 2010 14:46

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