The Social Constructions of Hoarding Behaviour: Accumulation and Discard in Liquid Modern Consumer Society

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Hall, Tiffany Rachel Anne




‘Hoarding’ has become a household term that refers to a high level of accumulated goods. This behaviour has been promoted as a social problem through medical and moral discourses. The recent inclusion of ‘hoarding disorder’ in the DSM-V solidifies an acceptance of hoarding as a mental health disease. Moral discourses promoted through reality television shows such as A&E’s Hoarders perpetuate ideologies about normal levels of cleanliness and organization, and promote hoarding intervention using professional organizers. Both framings of the problem focus on individual level behaviours while overlooking social structures. An analysis of hoarding behaviour that addresses changes in consumer culture and the advent of liquid modernity brings forth a new perspective of the behaviour as a problem. The contradictions between time and space reveal that hoarding may stem from changes in society. This allows for further consideration of the behaviour as a problem, and widens the potential for future research.


SOCIAL SCIENCES Sociology - General




Carleton University

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