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Changing Lives through Relocation - Ethnography of a Socialized Housing Project in the Philippines

  • Changing lives through relocation - This is the vision of a socialized housing project in the Philippines which is subject of this dissertation. It is a polyphonic ethnography that investigates the transition process from an informal, marginalized, self-organized lifestyle in squatter areas and dumpsite settlements to an institutionalized and policy-based life in the socialized housing project. The transition process is analyzed from a material cultural perspective taking into account selected aesthetic theories. With this approach, the dissertation aims to contribute to the study of the aesthetic dimension of everyday life from an ethnographic perspective. Aesthetics are applied on three levels: (1) On the theoretical level, the concepts of social aesthetics and atmospheres enrich the analysis of the interrelation between the residents and their new house in the socialized housing project. (2) On the methodological level, the relevance of aesthetic experiences for the ethnographic knowledge process are discussed. And (3) on the descriptive level, selected and thematically relevant sensory and aesthetic experiences of the researcher inform the ethnographic account in the form of memoirs. By incorporating aesthetic theories, the dissertation gives a more holistic account of the dynamics active in the transition process. It shows that the change of lifestyle is experienced sensorily through the daily physical engagement with the new material environment, i.e. its specific materiality and infrastructure, its affordances and constraints giving rise to new experiences and needs. In this process, the residents become aware of the differences between the past and present way of life and thus experience the new challenges through their physical being in the new material environment. On the one hand, this evokes a nostalgic attitude towards their previous life, but on the other hand, it also gives form to ideas of a possible future.

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Author:Melanie Hackenfort
Referee:Andreas Ackermann, Nicole Maruo-Schröder
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Date of completion:2018/10/29
Date of publication:2018/10/30
Publishing institution:Universität Koblenz, Universitätsbibliothek
Granting institution:Universität Koblenz, Fachbereich 2
Date of final exam:2018/10/18
Release Date:2018/10/30
Tag:Aesthetics; Ethnography; Material Culture
Number of pages:vii, 263
Institutes:Fachbereich 2 / Institut für Kulturwissenschaft
BKL-Classification:73 Ethnologie, Volkskunde
Licence (German):License LogoEs gilt das deutsche Urheberrecht: § 53 UrhG