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“When Your Dog Matches Your Decor”: Object Agency of Living and Non-Living Entities in Home Assemblage

Consumer Culture Theory

ISBN: 978-1-78754-286-0, eISBN: 978-1-78754-285-3

Publication date: 10 April 2019


Purpose: This chapter examines two rather extreme examples of non-human entities in home assemblage, interior objects, and companion animals, and how their agency appears distributed with human consumers in assembling home. The authors aim at drawing conceptual contrasts and overlappings in how agency expresses itself in these categories of living and non-living entities, highlighting the multifaceted manifestations of object agency.

Methodology/Approach: This chapter employs multiple sets of ethnographically inspired data, ranging from ethnographic interviews and an autoethnographic diary to three types of (auto-)netnographic data.

Findings: The findings showcase oscillation of agency between these three analytic categories (human, non-human living, and non-human non-living), focusing on how it is distributed between two of the entities at a time, within the heterogeneous assemblage of home. Furthermore, the findings show instances in which agency emerges as shared between all three entities.

Originality/Value: The contribution of this chapter comes from advancing existing discussion on object agency toward the focus on distributed and shared agency. The research adds to the prevailing discussion by exhibiting how agency oscillates between different types of interacting entities in the assemblage, and in particular, how the two types of non-human entities are agentic. The research demonstrates the variability and interwovenness of non-human and human, living and non-living agency as they appear intertwined in home assemblage.



Syrjälä, H. and Norrgrann, A. (2019), "“When Your Dog Matches Your Decor”: Object Agency of Living and Non-Living Entities in Home Assemblage", Bajde, D., Kjeldgaard, D. and Belk, R.W. (Ed.) Consumer Culture Theory (Research in Consumer Behavior, Vol. 20), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 39-54.



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