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Gygi, Fabio (2022) 'Falling in and out of love with stuff: Affective affordance and horizontal transcendence in styles of decluttering in Japan.' Japanese Studies, 42 (2). pp. 195-212.

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The last decade has seen the rise of Japanese methods of decluttering, adding everyday stuff to the increasing number of things that the modern subject must manage to gain a sense of wellbeing. This article examines Danshari by Yamashita Hideko and the Konmari method by Kondō Marie. Using the ‘affective affordances’ of objects as an analytic lens, I will argue that paying attention to everyday practices of decluttering reveals a close connection between material landscapes, gendered subjectivities and competing ethics of personhood. These connections only become visible when we put the decluttering methods in the context of the gendered expectations regarding attachment towards objects and their care in domestic work. Objects serve as an integral part of the affective regulation of everyday life; their careful or wasteful treatment is closely linked with ethical consumption and moral personhood. Attachments to objects and injunctions against wastefulness make ridding a morally fraught task. By contrasting a close reading of the two methods with insights gained from fieldwork on everyday disposal, I will trace the ways in which affect is mobilized in order to get rid of things and put this in the broader context of consumer capitalism in twenty-first century Japan.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Japan, material culture, decluttering, affect, affordance
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Anthropology & Sociology
ISSN: 10371397
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2022 10:45

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