“(Home)work and the Bedroom-Study: Work, Leisure and Communication Technology,” investigates the myth of the bedroom as a space of sex and privacy and the disruption of the myth through the introduction of communication technology. This project examines the bedroom as a site of work, although it is commonly associated with modern notions of what constitutes the private sphere. Privacy has historically been reflected in the separation of home and work, the private and public spheres, respectively. However, as I will argue, the bedroom has always been a space where the line between public and private is blurred. This research examines representations of the bedroom (and its co-evolution with the study/home office) to argue that the bedroom has always been a space of work within the system of capitalism.
Furthermore, I argue that the bedroom as a social space reveals how representations in popular culture of the bedroom depict persistent and shifting American ideologies about family life, class, gender, and the relationship between work and leisure and potentially challenges them; how the production and design of the hybrid bedroom-study have helped alter and consequently reveal transformations in the meaning of family and work life; and that practices of the bedroom-study reveal how media and communication technologies have transformed social and labor relations within and outside the home by undoing spatial divisions between the sites of leisure (formerly coded as unproductive by disregarding unpaid labor) and sites of work/labor.
Elizabeth Patton and Mimi Choi. Home Sweat Home: Perspectives on Housework and Modern Domestic Relationships, Scarecrow Press/Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2014.
From back cover:
Coeditors Elizabeth Patton and Mimi Choi argue that an in-depth examination of media images of housework from the mid-nineteenth century to the early twenty-first century is long overdue. Modern depictions often imply that certain concerns can be resolved through excessive domesticity, reflecting some of the complicated and unfinished issues of second-wave feminism. Home Sweat Home: Perspectives on Housework and Modern Relationships reveals how widespread the cultural image of “perfect” housewives and the invisibility of household labor were in the past and remain today.
In this collection of essays, contributors explore the construction of women as homemakers and the erasure of household labor from the middle-class home in popular representations of housework. They concentrate on such matters as the impact of second-wave feminism on families and gender relations; of popular culture—especially in film, television, magazines, and advertising—on our views of what constitutes home life and gender relations; and of changing views of sexuality and masculinity within the domestic sphere.
“Transforming Work Into Play within the Domestic Sphere: Hugh Hefner's Work/Play Revolution and the Making of the ‘Knowledge/Cultural’ Professional” Media History, 2015, Vol. 21, no. 1. DOI: 10.1080/13688804.2014.977619
“Where Does Work Belong? Communication Technology and Representations of Work in the Middle-Class American Postwar Home” (under review in displinary journal)
Book Review. “Electric Dreamland: Amusement Parks, Movies and American Modernity” by Lauren Rabinovitz. Columbia University Press, 2012. Journal of Popular Culture, 2013, Vol. 46, pp. 696-698. DOI: 10.1111/jpcu.12043_11.
Children’s Art and Identity. In The Encyclopedia of Identity. Randy L. Jackson II (ed). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2010 pp. 75-78.
The Self-Portrait and Identity. In The Encyclopedia of Identity. Randy L. Jackson II (ed). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2010, pp. 703-706.