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Social and Behavioral Sciences Commons

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Anthropology

University of Kentucky

2004

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Full-Text Articles in Social and Behavioral Sciences

The Meanings Of Underpants And Old Photographs: Notions Of Personhood And Pollution In The Estate Sale, Donna Foulk Jan 2004

The Meanings Of Underpants And Old Photographs: Notions Of Personhood And Pollution In The Estate Sale, Donna Foulk

University of Kentucky Master's Theses

In the estate sale, actors (shoppers and estate sale workers) form notions ofpersonhood and pollution through objects such as half-used bottles of perfume, floral dishes, and family photographs. Actors use these objects to create the gender, personality, religion, hobbies, and occupation of the objects' former owners. The context of the estate sale contributes to these notions of personhood. Estate sales usually occur after a death, almost everything this person has owned is priced for sale, and the estate sale is held within the house of the deceased.This study draws on Mary Douglas' work on pollution as "matter out of ...