Research

Productive Consumption in the Class-Mediated Construction of Domestic Masculinity: Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Home Improvement in Men’s Identity Work

In the context of do-it-yourself (DIY) home improvement, this article extends theorizing on productive consumption, domestic masculinity, and social class. Based on interviews with informants varying in cultural capital endowments, the findings reveal that productive consumption shapes domestic masculinity in relation to class-mediated identity conflicts and ideals. Among high-cultural-capital (HCC) informants, DIY home improvement counters the burdens of knowledge work. The suburban home materializes as a leisurely venue for productive consumption where HCC informants fashion themselves as suburban-craftsmen involved in autotherapeutic labor. Low-cultural-capital (LCC) informants’ involvement in DIY home improvement is animated by a different identity conflict and identity ideal. Due to limits on fulfilling normative expectations for economic provisioning, LCC informants liken home to a workplace. Through productive consumption at home, LCC informants enact an identity ideal of family-handyman, thus fashioning themselves as rightful, masculine family stewards.

Publication Information
Article Title: Productive Consumption in the Class-Mediated Construction of Domestic Masculinity: Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Home Improvement in Men’s Identity Work
Journal: Journal of Consumer Research (Aug, 2013)
40(2)
Author(s): Moisio, Risto;  Arnould, E;  Gentry, James W
Researcher Information
    
Gentry, James W
Gentry, James W
Emeritus
Expertise:
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Cross-Cultural Issues
  • Family Decision Making
  • International Consumerism
  • International - Asia
Marketing
HLH 345
P.O. Box 880492
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Lincoln, NE 68588-0492, USA
Phone: (402) 472-2316
Fax: (402) 472-9777
jgentry@unl.edu