This book examines experiences of home improvement in the UK and Aotearoa New Zealand, providing valuable insight into the ways in which people make and maintain home in social, material and economic context. Drawing on in-depth interviews, examining both DIY projects and projects carried out by professional handymen, Rosie Cox explores how home improvement fits into wider social relationships and structures of inequality. Consideration is given to the importance of such work for gender and national identities, and how these identities are related to material contexts and the forms and fabric of homes. The book also highlights how home improvement can be a rewarding and valuable form of work, as well as an unrewarding and alienating endeavour. It will be of interest to scholars from a range of disciplines including anthropology, sociology and human geography.
Rosie Cox is Professor of Geography at Birkbeck, University of London, UK.
2 Making homes
3 Working with Materiality
4 Doing it Yourself
5 Not Doing it Yourself
6 Home improvement and national identity
7 Materiality, inequality and the homeyness of home