for The Stuff of Family Life: Booklist

“Have you ever considered why your house has a dining room? Or have you thought about which rooms in your house are public (such as the living room) or private (like the bedroom)? Sociologist Janning looks at spaces and items in modern American homes to understand the boundaries between public and private lives for families, examine how homes illustrate broader social issues, and discuss how homes shape lives. For each section of her analysis, she chooses two objects to illustrate larger implications and relationships. For example, LEGO bricks allow Janning to explore modern childhood and approaches to parenting. LEGOs demonstrate what ‘good parenting’ looks like for a specific socioeconomic class: toys that are educational and enjoyed safely indoors. Her writing is conversational and humorous as she explains various research projects and sociological concepts. Whether familiar with sociological methods or not, readers will be fascinated by Janning’s ideas and the connections she draws between household items and family life.”