Some time ago, in the midst of a caffeine-fueled paper-writing frenzy, we posted without comment a pithy observation by an Irish Anthropologist, a Ms. Pauline Garvey. Sharing with her an interest in Norwegian aesthetics, we stumbled upon one of her papers about the framing of “practicality” in the justification of home decorations decisions and were overcome with admiration. So we posted a quote and went back to social theory and data flow diagrams.
We would like to comment now.
Pauline Garvey is brilliant in her incision of the whole concept of practicality. She slices away at the favorite justification of the hipster/housewife/construction worker and we like the cuts she makes. Applying a kind of rhetorical analysis beyond our sophistication, she tears to ribbons the concept that anyone truly decorates their home in a “practically” superior way. In her analysis of her qualitative data, she draws chalk-line parallels between the Norwegian-home-owner-described “practical aesthetic” of Norwegian homes and normative control.
We’re going to bone up on whatever it was she did and we’re going to do it, too.
So if you think you wear Vans because they’re practical, or if you think you wear jeans because they’re comfortable, or if you think you shower because it’s “just a good idea,” you have another think coming.
And we’re bringing it. Watch yourself, because we’re going to do a series of posts on the speciousness of “practicality” as justification.