The Stuff of Family Life

Thursday, July 20 2017 | 4 to 6pm
Hoffman Center for the Arts 

“The Stuff of Family Life: How Our Homes Reflect Our Lives: Sociologist Shows What Your Underwear Drawer Can Reveal About You” special presentation for the Art of Aging/of Dying series 

In a special event sociologist Michelle Janning will continue the discussion Mary Ruhl started about the significance of objects in our lives. The event is part of the Art of Aging/of Dying series and will be held at the Hoffman Center for the Arts in Manzanita. Admission fee is $5.

Sociology Professor Michelle Janning offers a timely look at how modern society and technology shapes our relationships and our lives. Like an archaeologist studying ancient civilizations through the things they left behind, Janning excavates contemporary life through our houses and possessions, from childhood stuffed animals and security blankets to retirement homes and senior living centers.

Janning takes readers through the stages of life – from dating and marriage to parenting and aging – that are usually kept behind closed doors. From online valentines to the growing popularity of “man caves,” The Stuff of Family Life looks not only at what large demographic studies say about family dynamics but also what our lives—and the stuff in them—say about how we relate to each other.

Janning has joked, “I am not a sociologist who uses large national datasets to illustrate family life; I’m the sociologist who asks people to examine what’s in their underwear drawers and living rooms to tell stories about their family life.” Using amusing anecdotes, as well as drawing on pop culture, economics, interior design, gender studies and more, Janning combines the educational with the entertaining to make The Stuff of Family Life accessible to both casual readers and dedicated students of sociology.

Michelle Janning is professor of sociology at Whitman College. A board member of the Council on Contemporary Families, she specializes in family and gender studies and cultural sociology. She has conducted numerous community-based projects, given keynote presentations, and performed consultancies that have given her a deeper understanding of the everyday lives of different types of families. Her work has been published in academic sources such as the Journal of Family Issues and the Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, and she has been quoted in popular media such as Women’s Health and Real Simple.

For more information contact Kathie Hightower at kathiejhightower@gmail.com

If you’d like to be on an email list for the Art of Aging and Art of Dying announcements, email telaskinner@gmail.com

The Art of Aging/of Dying Series is a program of the Hoffman Center of the Arts and will be held at the Hoffman Center (across from Manzanita Library at 594 Laneda Ave). Further information is available at www.hoffmanblog.org online or contact Tela Skinner, at telaskinner@gmail.com

 

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