Author Topic: Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century  (Read 388 times)


  • Handlebar Stache
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Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century
« on: May 25, 2019, 10:30:12 PM »
Just finished this book (author, Jeanne Arnold) and I think it would be of interest to Mustachians if you can find it (I had to get it through inter-library loan). A team of anthropologists intensively documented the homes and habits of middle-class families in Los Angeles between 2001 and 2005, and this book is the result (came out in 2012). I found it fascinating, although the information about technology is somewhat dated--the research was done before the advent of smartphones and tablets, and although they had come along by the time the book was published, I think it was not yet clear how huge the effects were going to be.

I did wonder how the location affected the research--housing is so expensive in that area that I suspect middle-class families were living in older and smaller homes than they would have been in less expensive cities. I didn't spot any houses that looked like the kinds of new builds found in typical developments in my city.

If nothing else, you will be encouraged to start cleaning out your clutter. The sheer volume of stuff in a lot of the homes was really overwhelming. The big surprise was how little time the families spent in their outdoor spaces (in an area whose climate comes as close to ideal for that as you can get.) I think the authors said that something like 25% of the parents never set foot in the family's outdoor spaces at all.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2019, 04:27:29 PM »
There are a number of youtube videos that are part of this study, check out "A Cluttered Life: Middle Class Abundance". The amount of stuff these households have is simply staggering. So many people seem to buy food and clothing mindlessly.

I wouldn't say my own house is sparse, but it seemed downright minimal after watching some of those vids.