S2E7 - Do-It-Yourself Theory and the Crafting Comeback

From craft brewing to knitting, when did acting like we’re home on the range get so cool? And why is it so satisfying to can your own jar of jam, hand-build a table, or make a quilt? This week we take on the history, culture, and politics of hipster crafting and DIY. With the help of our trusty friend Marx and a theory of "new domesticity," we dig into what modern-day maker throwbacks can tell us about our work lives and gender identities. Sociologist and beer whisperer Dr. Allison McKim helps us unpack the homebrewing explosion and its gender-troubled history, PLUS we get into Maria's love of Renaissance Faires, Noorain's once-but-no-more work alienation, and high-concept housekeeping. Pour yourself a beer (or a cold brewed coffee if you're Noorain) and come talk crafting! If you can make it, we will talk about it!

Links to Stuff We Talk About


Karl Marx, “Estranged Labour,” in Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844. https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/manuscripts/labour.htm (Marx's theory of alienation explained in everyday language here and here

Rachel Lee Rubin, Well Met:  Renaissance Faires and the American Counterculture (NYU Press, 2012) http://www.amazon.com/Well-Met-Renaissance-American-Counterculture/dp/1479859729

Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776) http://www.econlib.org/library/Smith/smWN.html (on division of labor and the rise of capitalism


Krystal Baugher, “Women and Beer: A 4,500-Year History Is Coming Full Circle,” The Atlantic. November 11, 2013. http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/11/women-and-beer-a-4-500-year-history-is-coming-full-circle/281338/ 

Emily Matchar, “The New Domesticity: Fun, Empowering or a Step Back for American Women?” The Washington Post. November 25, 2011. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-new-domesticity-fun-empowering-or-a-step-back-for-american-women/2011/11/18/gIQAqkg1vN_story.html

Bonnie Rochman, “Handmade in America: Crafting's Comeback,” Parade. October 19, 2013. http://communitytable.parade.com/214945/bonnierochman/handmade-in-america-craftings-comeback/ 


“2012 State of the Craft Industry” Craft & Hobby Association Presentation. 2012. https://www.craftandhobby.org/eweb/docs/2012.State.of.Craft.Industy_Key.Insights.pdf

“Indie Craft Inspiration.” Craft & Hobby Association’s Portfolio Magazine. Winter 2009. https://www.craftandhobby.org/EWEB/docs/cha/Portfolio-Pdfs/2009%20Winter%20Portfolio.pdf

Shannon Hayes,  Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture. Left to Write Press. February 1, 2010. 


Beer whisperer Allison McKim is also an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Bard College; more on her here

Music this week from Billy Currington, Jewel, Lila Downs, The Cardigans, and Erykah Badu

Posted on May 25, 2016 .