Archaeology •  Anthropology and Photography

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Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century: 32 Families Open Their Doors

Jeanne E. Arnold
Anthony P. Graesch
Enzo Ragazzini
Elinor Ochs


Elinor Ochs is UCLA Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Applied Linguistics and served as director of the UCLA Sloan Center on Everyday Lives of Families.

Photographer Enzo Ragazzini resides in the Tuscany region of Italy and his work has been featured at exhibitions throughout Europe and North America.

Anthony P. Graesch is assistant professor of anthropology at Connecticut College.

Jeanne E. Arnold is professor of anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles.


"An unflinching view of the American family, with all its stresses and joys on display. It's full of intriguing data."


The New York Times

"A meticulous, systematic documentation by a cross-disciplinary team...a visual ethnography of middle-class American households."


The Washington Post

"This book documents major findings of a brilliantly conceived and executed piece of social science research that speaks to a very wide and diverse audience. Its findings are significant, credible, and provocative. In my opinion, it is one of the most significant social-science projects undertaken in the United States, demonstrating the power of anthropological and archaeological approaches to researching human behavior, whether in a traditional tribal society or in an industrial megalopolis. The discussions are filled with interesting insights that could only have come from a first-hand study of household material culture. The flow of everyday life in relation to places defined by objects provides a refreshing and unique perspective on human behavior. Readers will be drawn in by the lively, well-written, and accessible prose. The images are spectacular because there Is nothing else like them in quality, quantity, and especially their unique view of modern family life and household possessions. This book is of great significance, not only to the social sciences but also to ongoing policy discussions about what is happening in America."


Michael Brian Schiffer (University of Arizona)

"This is a remarkable, good-natured, and absorbing product of a long-term collaborative research project by a team of UCLA senior scholars and their students from anthropology and archaeology, with the aid of a master photographer, of the everyday lived-in spaces of a select number of households in southern California. . . . Highly recommended."



Published By The Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press

10 x 10 in. 180 pages 390 color photos, 3 black-and-white illustrations