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Heirloom Jewelry: An Actant of History and Identity


Heirloom Jewelry: An Actant of History and Identity

Moore, Allison Cicero (2016) Heirloom Jewelry: An Actant of History and Identity. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Heirloom jewelry pieces perform important functions in family networks. Jewelry’s durability allows the potential to frequently outlive its original owner, gain sentimental value over successive generations, and influence relationships. Through the frame of Actor-Network-Theory and using a case study methodology, this study analyzed three participants’ heirloom rings functions in conjunction with their oral accounts of family history. Rings were chosen as a specific format of heirloom jewelry in order to limit the scope of the research, and because of their generalized usage. Interviews concentrated on the history of their heirloom ring’s origins, the participant’s view on ownership of a family heirloom, and other relevant family history.
This research sought to unite material context and historical context in order to examine the importance of objects in social interactions. Specifically, the research investigated the roles heirloom jewelry enacts in family narratives and interactions. The research found that heirloom jewelry, even as an inanimate object, can exert social influence through the mediation and moderation of family relationships. Furthermore, the research showed that heirloom enacts identity and culture, and is a valuable medium to facilitate both art and social history education.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art Education
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Moore, Allison Cicero
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Art Education
Date:26 May 2016
Thesis Supervisor(s):Castro, Juan Carlos
Keywords:heirloom, jewelry, tradition, Actor-Network-Theory, art, craft, material, metal, gemstone, oral history, art education
ID Code:981295
Deposited By: Allison Cicero Moore
Deposited On:16 Jan 2017 19:57
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:52
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