Daniel Miller – Stuff

Daniel Miller is an anthropologist who studies the consequences of consumption and our human relationship to things. In this book ‘Stuff ‘ he studies and discusses how things make us as much as we make them. I am particularly interested in his take on clothing, in which he states that clothing is not superficial.  A quote from his book reads :

“Actually, as Ibsen’s Peer Gynt observed, we are all onions. If you keep peeling off our layers you find – absolutely nothing left. There is no true inner self. We are not Emperors represented by clothes because if we removed the clothes there isn’t an inner core. The clothes were not superficial, they actually were what made us what we think we are.”

Miller is suggesting in my opinion that we give clothing power to define who we are. Without them our inner self is not what it once was, therefore they are not superficial. I think this is an interesting point as it highlights the significance of clothing. Particularly how we allow clothing to form our identity and affect our emotions. It speaks to my project as I think our clothing can carry significant memories and invoke nostalgia so the question is without that clothing do we still have those memories as vividly?Do we experience them in the same way? If they form our identity can they also form out memories?

Olivia Ezechukwu

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