PictureSometimes you have to spend a lot of money to look cheap.
Please read Joan Kron's "The Semiotics of Home Decor" in Signs of Life.  Respond to the following questiions. 

According to Kron, how are our possessions representative of us?   How do possessions “provide the cue that is used in order to discover the  status of others”?  

“Our possessions give us a sense of security and stability.”  How does Kron explain this assertion?  How might we feel if our possessions are taken from us, say by theft or disaster? Is this a healthy or unhealthy way to feel?



Aaron Yim
10/01/2013 4:11pm

Kron mentions our possessions represent of us by how much is our possession is worth and lets the society know what kind of class we are in. The decorations send a message to visitors what kind of status and what kind of style they are into instead of boring simple decorations that means nothing. In this society, having a expensive decorations means something but people do not just look at fancy objects. People look for unique artwork or limited edition object to define you actual status..
Kron explains the object makes us feel in control which can lead to part of our identity. If we lose our possessions, we lose part of our identity because for objects we use it not to use for what they are meant to use but to keep our experiences and memories. If we lose our objects by a theft or natural disaster, it is healthy thing to feel because we can be independent instead of depending on a object that we can use in order to feel satisfaction.

Stefanie Jadidi
10/01/2013 8:01pm

If we don't surround ourselves with familiar possessions, we can feel alone and disoriented. Our possessions are like our identity. It helps make distinctions between one another. The home and its decor is like a language in which we communicate. The way someone represents their home is how they show their status. When we surround ourselves with possessions we can represent who we are. If you own something, you are in control of it: it's yours and yours alone. There is also competition among people and their status. You feel like you have a place in society and thrive on mutual possessions. It can effect where you shop, what you eat, what kind of sports you play or where you go to school. You have a sense of belonging.
People are attached to their possessions. I think if a fire or disaster hit someone's home, they should not worry about materialistic things. Yes, it is a natural reaction to be devastated. But you can always buy another tv set. You can not, however, buy back photographs. Sure, an old chair might be linked to family history, but you can buy another chair. Physically losing a possession might be hard on someone, but I think it is unhealthy to let it have a huge impact. Memories are more important in life. People should not be tied down to material things because at the end of the day, being safe with your loved ones is all that should matter after a disaster strikes. You can always replace a tv set but you can't replaces your family members. When we die, we can't bring our possessions with us.

10/01/2013 9:09pm

According to Kron, our possessions show others, in an indirect way, our socio-economic status, without us literally having to say it out loud. Along with this, our possessions show others what we like, what we do – essentially, who we are. Someone in a soccer outfit clearly plays soccer, and that’s definitely a way our possessions show who we are. However, there are other possessions that identify us in a more subtle way. An example of a possession which might identify a person is the band t-shirt he or she has on, or what style of sunglasses they wear. Though these might identify a person’s socio-economic status to a certain extent, it also identifies their likes and dislikes, how they see themselves.
Possessions ‘provide the cue that is used in order to discover the status of others’ by giving off visual signals of wealth in the form of name brands and high quality clothing and accessories. For example, a wealthy young man might wear an expensive wristwatch; though he doesn’t say he is rich, others would assume it.
As talked about above, we identify with our possessions on some level. Our t-shirts even represent something we really care for. Our new microwave holds a special place in the household because now we can have better food. Possessions are tangible reminders of our identities. Kron explains this with a quote from Georg Simmel, “Every possession is an extension of the self” (132 – 133). In other words, we feel our possessions are part of us; they remind us of who we are as well as give us something to strive for – to perfect our identities.
We might feel like a part of us is lost if our possessions were taken from us, by theft or disaster. This is vaguely unhealthy, because our true identities are not wrapped up in items; however, it makes sense that we feel this way because we view possessions as extensions of self.

10/01/2013 9:12pm

According to Kron, our possessions show others, in an indirect way, our socio-economic status, without us literally having to say it out loud. Along with this, our possessions show others what we like, what we do – essentially, who we are. Someone in a soccer outfit clearly plays soccer, and that’s definitely a way our possessions show who we are. However, there are other possessions that identify us in a more subtle way. An example of a possession which might identify a person is the band t-shirt he or she has on, or what style of sunglasses they wear. Though these might identify a person’s socio-economic status to a certain extent, it also identifies their likes and dislikes, how they see themselves.
Possessions ‘provide the cue that is used in order to discover the status of others’ by giving off visual signals of wealth in the form of name brands and high quality clothing and accessories. For example, a wealthy young man might wear an expensive wristwatch; though he doesn’t say he is rich, others would assume it.
As talked about above, we identify with our possessions on some level. Our t-shirts even represent something we really care for. Our new microwave holds a special place in the household because now we can have better food. Possessions are tangible reminders of our identities. Kron explains this with a quote from Georg Simmel, “Every possession is an extension of the self” (132 – 133). In other words, we feel our possessions are part of us; they remind us of who we are as well as give us something to strive for – to perfect our identities.
We might feel like a part of us is lost if our possessions were taken from us, by theft or disaster. This is vaguely unhealthy, because our true identities are not wrapped up in items; however, it makes sense that we feel this way because we view possessions as extensions of self.

Rosario Vazquez
10/02/2013 10:26am

According to Kron in “The Semiotics of Home,” the possessions that a person obtains are symbols of a person and it can be transmitted to others like a language. Therefore, a certain individual may assume that someone else is wealthy by the judgments they make of a person’s possessions since the objects also “represent the status of a person.”
Kron states that possessions provide a person “security and stability” since they are in control of their own possessions, which automatically becomes part of a person, as to having to share an object with others.
A person may feel disoriented and striped of their identity if they were separated from their possessions. It is unhealthy since it can lead a person to depression and stressful situations, since a feeling of loneliness and emptiness may overcome them.

Rhea Lopez
10/02/2013 8:11pm

Joan Kron points to the notion of household possessions providing individuals with a sense of security and stability. While this might first appear as more of an outlandish exaggeration than anything else, she continues by indicating the very idea of purchasing an object gives someone complete control over it. The individual selected it over several, if not dozens of other items, and by choosing the one item above all others, the item ultimately falls under the control of the buyer. The buyer is then free to do what they wish with it. Of course, the more control and power of an individual experiences the more they desire, which leads to the purchase of more goods and more accessories. As Joan indicates, it would make far more sense for an entire block to share a lawn mower, but it would strip each individual of the control they feel when owning it themselves.
Additionally, goods also give individuals the ability to compete with one another. If it weren’t for materialistic items, human beings would have very little to compare and compete with. From homes to car, jewelry to art, all of these items are often used to determine the value of a person and allow outsiders to deem who ultimately is more valuable than another. People need a way to define their identities and status, and there is no better way to do that then with stuff.
The loss of items and possessions, to an extent, is a loss of self. Individuals need items in order to fee familiar with the situation and circumstance. The items eventually become an extension of the person who obtained it, and without these extensions, a person is likely to feel very small and ordinary. The lack of materialistic items can make a person feel uncomfortable, as what is around them is not known and not their possessions. Because the items are not their possessions they are not able to control the material and can ultimately start to feel helpless due to the lack of owned items surrounding them.
When items are stolen or destroyed, it also represents the loss of events and memories. Most individuals place some sort of an important memory with an item. This can range from an experienced they shared with a loved one on a particular seat to a game watched on a television to just about any other possible activity. Due to this, if an item is stolen from the individual, it is not just the theft of a material based item that occurs, but also the theft of memory. There is likely to be a slight difference between a theft and destruction, however. Should an item become destroyed, either to freak accident or natural disaster, the item and memory is now gone. While the memory itself might still be present inside the owner’s head, the representative of the memory is no longer available. On the other hand, should someone steal a particular item from an owner, it might become even more of a sudden issue, as not only is the item representing a memory be gone, but it is now owned and used by someone else who is not going to cherish and enjoy or even know of the same event.
Ultimately, while this idea might not prove healthy to humans, it is completely natural to want to stand in charge of an item and material. Since the dawn of civilization, people have wanted to stand in charge, and the more power they accumulate the better. While it is no longer possible to expand an empire and enslave other humans, it is possible to gain power through the acquisition of stuff.

Aaron Yim
10/03/2013 4:10pm

Kron states that people’s possessions are part of their identity. People obtain objects is a cue of what kind of class they fit into. For example, a person would buy a $650,000 stamp to show what kind of class that person is in. Even though people have a fancy accessories in their home, in this society means nothing because people want to see unique of artwork. Kron mentions that having objects makes people feel in control. In addition, people having a lot of objects in their house make them feel stable because the object represents their identity. If people lost their objects, they will lose part of their identity because people tend to have something that shows what kind of person they are. For instance, Emily was looking for Chinese style pattern to send a message to their neighbors. It is a healthy way to have emotions without having objects because society depends on their possessions too much in order to gain their happiness.

Johnny Ramirez
10/04/2013 4:12pm

One of the ways our possessions are representative of us was “Status Symbols.” In Kron article, she mentions a quote by Erving Goffman, “Status symbols provide the cure that is used in order to discover the status of other, and, from this, the way in which others are to be treated.” Using this, when you are invited into someone’s home, we tend to look around to see that the person has or doesn’t have according what you have at home. Depending on what they have, a person made start to treat the other differently. If they are rich, one may start to feel below their status, and if they are poor one may start to feel above their status.

“Our possessions gives us a sense of security and stability.” Kron explain this assertion by mentioning the way we feel in control. Having control over our possessions makes us feel we have total control over it and no one can have it because one probably work hard, or save up money to buy and own that possession. Other than being disrespectful, touching someone’s possession will have the owner in full alert because you don’t know if item is something of value. Therefore if we lost a possession by a theft or disaster, one will feel anger or depression. One will tend to feel to this way because everything they may have work for or save up is gone. Or the item they lost was an given item by someone special, they will feel the item is irreplaceable. Its a healthy way to feel this because if they didn’t show any sort of emotion then the item never meant anything. It’s a possession that wasn’t care for.

10/06/2013 2:19pm

In the essay “The Semiotics of Home Decor”, author Joan Kron tackles the relevance of home furnishings on portraying our personal identity and relating this to the group an individual mingles with. The function of a home decor has evolved maturely than a mere ornament, making an individual be more attached to it than his or her relationships to humans. The effort and the money a homemaker poured in choosing a furnishing reveals so much about her status just as how she would dress up when meeting with her peers.

With all of the potential acquisitions in the market, the reason for a shopper’s choice of an item is how it shows his or her personality through it; with the actual function and price of a furnishing as a runner-up. Kron further elaborated in her essay that home decor is a symbol of oneself, and everyone in this society is either a status-seeker or a status-reader. Just like how we perceive people wearing a certain style of clothing or listening to a specific music genre, the acquisition of home decor serves the same purpose. A Catholic family for example may own a painting of Da Vinci’s The Last Supper and have it hanged in their dining area, not because of their artistic taste but because they wanted to mark their territory by reflecting the core values they believe in.

Another perfect example on how home decor represents one’s identity is reflected on college student’s preferences on his/her dorm room needs when one goes off to college. Upon introducing the room to the student, he feels empty or disoriented because there are no familiar things: just a blank wall and a plain bed. That is why they put their stamp of identity on the posters they tape on the wall, the sheets that they use to cover their beds, and even carry photos from home or college and put it in a frame near their bedside. The moment that the student has completed his dorm-decorating project is the moment one can say that “this is where he lives.”

Possessions give us a sense of security and stability in a sense that they make us feel in control. Most humans have a certain want of being in control of things, may it be other people, possessions and events happening in their lives. Portable devices were invented so that an individual can carry it with him and use it according to his own time and liking. A laptop is more appealing to own than a desktop computer, because it marks one’s personal space: from the files he downloads on the computer, the websites he visits, or even the wallpaper settings is made to be personalized according to an individual liking. That is why public computers in laboratories and libraries are hardly tolerable because a user cannot control its settings according to his personal preference.

One’s possession can be a sign of one’s status in the society he belongs. As humans, we use our possessions to compete. The time, money and effort an individual pour in the acquisition of his possessions increases the value of the item itself. So when a disaster occurs such as theft or a natural calamity, it is hard for an individual to accept loss - like how one mourns for a loved one. An individual may feel that he doesn't belong anymore to any group, because the item that he possessed before to indicate membership of a group was stolen or simply gone. It may also feel like you are alone and no place to belong because without one’s possessions, one’s identity is undefined. It is not healthy to have that kind of feeling towards our acquisition, because it seems that the society that we revolve around is a shallow one, where a sign reader is basing an individual’s personality through its possessions rather than its ability to create meaningful and strong personal relations to other people.

Vahan Khachatryan
10/06/2013 10:29pm

According to Kron, possessions provide not only material comfort, but also they provide information about an owner of possessions. In other words, personal possessions are our ambassadors who represent us in front of others just as most of us will certainly discover a person gender at least while being in his or her apartment. Kron states that depending on belongings, a person acquires a specific social status. It represents his or her class in a society. One of the most important cues used to discover a person’s status is to look at the area of his or her residence. In other words, “Tell me where you live, I will tell who you are.” The area where we live represents us in one or another way. People do not even go further to disclose another characteristics which will portray a person. Only be living in a prestigious area will people acquire a status. Uniqueness of an object possessed by a person is another cue used to discover his status. Items made by natural materials, despite the fact whether they represent some cultural value or not, are considered the status describing indices as long as they are favored by celebrities. Kron goes on by stating that restaurants we visit, trip we take, the manner we eat are all the cues used to discover the status of a person
Egocentric behavior is expressed also in the lack of ability to share things with others. Kron, in his article “Semiotics of Home decor” emphasizes the idea that when people share things with others, they feel they lose control over their belongings. The lack of control on possessions entails people to stop seeing themselves in that objects. “If it is not mine, it is not me”. It deprives a person to take a full credit from the object he or she possesses. By losing our possessions we depend on as a result of theft or disaster, we lose some part of us. I strongly believe that it cannot be considered as a healthy feeling. It reminds me the concept of fetishism so that we have a strong liking or need for a particular object that we will lose ourselves by not having them anymore.

10/07/2013 8:57am

My living space would be a nice apartment with two bedroom/bathrooms inside each of the bedroom's. A big living room with a dinning room on the sid. A small kitchen. By the dinning room their should be a big porch so I can go outside and feel the fresh air and have my plants out all around my porch. On the corner of the living room I would have my computer area a table with my computer and my printer. So I can do all my work it will be my workspace. I would have a nice area for my coffee maker with coffee cups.

10/07/2013 11:21am

It is mind blowing to read about Joan Kron’s article, The Semiotics of Home Décor, because it opens the readers mind to a whole new world of thinking. When Kron explains about Martin J. Davidson and how he wants the entire world to know about his riches and the status that he is standing, this applies to people nowadays as well. “I live the American dream… being known as one of Barney’s best customers.” This is Davidsons words, but is this really the American dream? Our possessions represent the kind of people we are.
Kron explains that our household items have a much “more meaningful place in our lives than they have been given credit for.” The explanation for this is that our possessions give us a sense of wholeness and security. Being in control of an object or item is very important because I agree with Kron when she said, “the more we control an object, the more it is a part of us.” Many people cannot share a simple computer, let alone a television set. Everyone believes that they need to have their own to make it their own. If these items are pulling away from us even a little then we feel like a part of us is missing and we lose control for a few minutes until we find that item. I was not surprised when I read in this article that women in Chicago stabbed her boyfriend for changing the channel from what she was watching to what he wanted to watch.
Erving Goffman wrote, “status symbols provide the cues that is used in order to discover the status of others, and, from this, the way in which others are to be treated.” Kron describes these status symbols by explaining the items we hold and the food we eat. Status can happen to anyone and anything that has value.

Jeobana Gutierrez
10/09/2013 11:23pm

Joan Kron makes an important point about the possessions one has in the household. Kron points out that this possessions provide individuals with a sense of security and stability when family members or friends go to their homes and see the material things they poses. She explains that when people buy things, people are very cautions with what they buy. The object they are going to purchase must be different and special to their aspect and what they want to portray by buying it but at the end the object purchased falls under the control of the costumer. While people are fascinated with buying things they do not need, shopping can get out of control. The satisfaction one has when buying an object is extremely pleasing especially once its put on a special spot in the house. And that satisfaction to decorate one home indulges us into keep on buying more and more decorations to "make our homes look pretty and stable or luxurious." By wanting to make their home pretty and fashionable one often tends to try to keep with one and other. If one goes to a friends house and sees a special decoration or thing they have at their home one sometimes will want to get something similar or better. By doing this people tend to be in constant competition to see who has better furniture or decorations or tvs, etc and most important which house or objects look or are more expensive. With doing this people believe that they portray that they are wealthy they keep up with technology or with the latest fashions and being so they are on top.
If it were for all this materialistic things and trying to "keep up with the Jones" people would be focused in more important stuff. Sadly, items are often used to determine the value of a person and allow outsiders to determine who ultimately is more valuable than another.
Kron explains that our possessions gives us a sense of security and stability because of the simply fact that we own that certain object unlike others.Having control over our things makes us feel we have total control over them and no one can have it. One instantly gives a special value to objects we buy specially if it cost a lot of money. We tend to take care of our valuable things more because maybe it took us time to be able to buy it or because it is no the same replacing the object or what is worst we don't know if we are going to be able to earn the money again to buy another same object.
and that why we take care of our possessions so dearly because we had to work to obtain them and when someone tries to touch it or break it or something. That's why we know our possessions are valuable because we don't know if we can replace them. If any accident would happen to one of our precious objet one tend to act angry instantly because it was a very valuable object for us and just for the fact that that certain object belongs to us no one else can touch it.
Well I think is a bit of both. I think if obviously we get angry by loosing a special object we are freely to feel anyway we want because no one knows and understand what that object meant to us or how hard we worked to obtain it. And for that matter people should respect others personal belongings. But, in the other hand I think one should not give that much value for an object. At the end of the day is just a material thing. And objects come and go. I think people should focus more on other stuff rather that just trying to compete with one an other and think its the end of the world by loosing materialistic object.

10/11/2013 10:23pm

According to Kron our possessions represent the status of our ownership. Meaning if you don’t have possessions, then we do not have control. When one self has possessions they represent their selves as wealthy people that can own anything they want and need. The reason why I am mentioning want and need is because some of those kinds of people don’t need half of the things they buy, they simply want to show off their possessions. Possessions express our identity if one self doesn’t fall over materialistic possessions then that person would not be noticed. One self needs possession to be noticed, meaning the biggest, house the best car, and the porcelain fountains. Possessions make people feel like they are in control and for others to view them that way. In this way they help people identify them as owners of everything. In my opinion oneself does not have to have possessions to be loved and respected in the real world. If oneself is a good human being and not materialistic people would notice it one day. Materialism should not control the world and make us loose our real life values. If I was a person with possessions, then I would be devastated if all was taken away from me one day. Any normal human being would go through depression after a loss.

10/11/2013 10:43pm

Possessions may represent in a different way, for example: Davidson possessions represents to him that he's wealthy and he's "living the American Dream". Davidson had pride for his valuable things. "I was mentioned in the Times on three different days." He showed off that people wrote about him and his wealthy but they were actually making fun of him.
"I have the same luggage you have," she tells them. "It blows their minds,"she brags. Most people show off what they have or what looks like it. Their possessions makes them be fake towards their status whether their wealthy or poor. Faking a status isn't a crime but providing to others that they can also buy what they have for a cheaper price.
But then again, possessions grow a connection to others. "A battered toy, a musical instrument, a homemade quilt, they said, provide more meaning than expensive appliances which the respondents had plenty of." Each of their objects has meanings, for example: if a grandmother gave her granddaughter a homemade quilt, it means love for her family. The granddaughter will carry on the quilt to her own children because it has values that her grandmother knit it with love.
Possessions towards children, men , women and grandparents. Furniture towards children are cherished differently from women. Children see the furniture as material they can relay on to sit, sleep,etc. Women experiences and have memories to specific furniture that either her family gave her. Photographs are cherished by grandparents because is the only memory they have of their children growing up, going to school, their first bike ride, graduating school and even their first grandchildren. Stereos and television are cherished more by children and men because it's like a release, escape and emotion relieve. They just time or space alone to their selves.
Kron explains "Our possessions give us a sense of security and stability." that having control of your values. Having control their possession whenever they want. For example: television set. A family won't share or let borrow the tv because it's their property and can control who watches what or doesn't.
I'm imagining that if our possessions are robbed or any disaster happened people would probably get depressed because it has sentimental value and emotions, but it also depends. I believe it's unhealthy because possessions can always be replaced but when a possession has meaning, than that's even harder.

Edith Perez
10/14/2013 10:11pm

The way our possessions represent us is by showing what we like. In a way it plays a role in who we are. For example the type of clothes we own that we choose to buy demonstrates our on style of dressing. Also with the objects we own is what one can identify themselves with. The way possessions provide a cue in order to discover the status of others is by knowing that they own objects made out of scarce material. When one gets invited to someone’s home one tends to look around to see what they own. They way other get treated plays a role on ones status. Also to have associated with an object long enough you don’t even have to own it the glory of the object shines upon you.
The way Kron explains that “Our possessions give us a sense of security and stability” is that it makes one feel in control. Owning an object gives one more control and the more one has control of that object it becomes part of them. Kron gives an example of how a whole block sharing a lawn mower. If the whole block was to share the lawn mower it would strip the people of having control of it. The way we may feel if our possessions are taken from us in an incident by theft or disaster is sadness. The reason one may feel sadness is because the object may have a sentimental value attach to it. The object may remind one of memory that was created and the object was part of. If possessions where to be stolen it would create a different emotion such as anger. We would be mad to know someone has taken our belongings because it too hard work to be able to have such objects. I would say it’s healthy because one has to feel such way due to this type of incident. One should express how they feel and then let just let it go and move on from such incident.

10/16/2013 3:56pm

Irving Goffman notes that possessions serve as a markers, or cues, to other to members of society which determine mutual societal status. What the cues reflect can vary from a matter of taste, such as in art or food, to the price of an expensive car or piece of furniture. Martin Davidson filled his apartment with dozens of expensive luxury items, not for the sole purpose of owning quality goods but because he understood their semiotic symbolism. For that very reason he was criticized by the New York Times, and the people of New York. According to Goffman, this discrimination is integrated within the human psyche and “has a definite survival value.” For millions of years human beings relied on their instincts to guide them through the wilderness. Choosing the perfect partner to carry on their genetic legacy meant choosing from dozens of suitable mates. For women that meant sorting through males that could not provide neither food, nor shelter, or that lacked genetic superiority. The concept of status within a community is by far the strongest human characteristic known to man; perhaps even in these modern times. In the book, World of Goods, anthropologist Mary Douglas and economist Baron Isherwood note that discovering the status of others determines whether they are suitable to share, “bed, board, and cult.”
There is a rewarding feeling that we as human beings obtain from owning things. Lita Furby writes that, “If it’s not mine, it’s not me.” Consumerism is based on a foundation of ego. Purchasing an expensive watch and displaying it for everyone to see sends a message that the owner of the watch can afford to overspend on a simple commodity. Rather than use a more practical approach to carry on their daily lives, consumers are willing to spend the extra money to preserve their image. People would much rather see themselves through other people’s eyes. A sense of security is obtained when a person feels that they are looked at as a symbol of wealth and stature. These things are important because for many years we have attributed wealth with education and stability. People that are wealthy tend to be more educated and trustworthy, and therefore are most suitable to procreate with. The relationship between a person and an object is deeply rooted. When a sudden loss of property occurs it can be a traumatizing experience for most people. After a robbery, for example, a person will feel violated and will often mourn the objects that were taken. Anger and frustration is a common reaction to the loss of an object because the person who has lost it, has also lost a piece of their identity. We use so many things to represent us that missing one will hinder our ability to feel complete balance. Even after the item has been replaced a void is left inside the person. It is only through a voluntary disconnection, that we can shed our material skin.

Jose Gomez
10/16/2013 11:05pm

Kron, talks about what we own, represents who we are. Many times, just by walking in to some ones home, a person by visualizing the home, can tell the economical status. Also if the person or family in that house is clean or messy. One can also tell, what type of tastes they have, when it comes to the decor of the house. Having antique ornaments and paintings, usually say that the person or family appreciate art and are reserved. On the other hand, walking in to some ones home, that has flashier decor, say that the person or family is more modern and like to go along with what is trending.
Having a Lexus, Mercedes, BMW, etcetera as a possession, says a lot about a person. Since not everyone owns one, the main reason why not everyone has one, is very simple, they are expensive. Having an expensive car, represents economical stability that the person has. But I believe, that one of the easiest ways, one can tell if a person gives cues of their status, is as simple as looking at the way and type of clothe they were. Being well dressed and groomed, states that the person is clean and likes giving good impressions to others. Of course, because making a first impression is always vital. Also by using a specific brand or logo that represents wealth, usually is what tells if a person is well of. At times, people in order to feel a part of a lifestyle, get into debt by using credit cards. The consequences are great, but some people do not mind, since they only care about the impression others see when looking at them.
Possessions we own, tells us that we have stability. One fells the safest at home, because we know we own what we have at home. At home everyone feels safe and secured, because we have the key to our homes. Kron, explains that our homes are our territory, and someone that is not part of the family is not welcome. It is one thing to be in public, and share services with others, but a home is the only privacy people have, therefore it is sacred and should be respected. Having taken our things by theft, is a very upsetting feeling. Because all the hard work that one does in order to fulfill a satisfaction of having a product or items, and to have them stolen is frustrating. Those feeling and emotions, however are similar but different when there is natural disaster. The reason why the feeling is different, because it was a natural disaster that affects a lot of people. But theft, is the cause of people taking advantage, being lazy that do not like to work to support themselves.

Steven Diermissen
10/20/2013 4:52pm

According to Joan Kron, possessions may represent someone as the possessions start to become associated with who he or she is. What someone owns also gives people the idea about the social status the person holds; however, it is not very effective as a single item as “clusters of symbols are better than isolated ones.” (Kron 132).
The possessions also gives a person their identities. Having certain objects gives form to the person’s identity, as well as giving the person a sense of stability. Without the items that are familiar, Kron believes that “we feel disoriented” and that without the possessions “our identities flicker and fade like ailing light bulbs.” (Kron 135).
The possessions someone has tends to give him or her a sense of security and stability because the person is free to manipulate the items however he or she wants. People tend to want an item to themselves even though sharing would be logical and cost efficient. Kron illustrates this point with people living in a neighborhood block. She states that the people can easily share the lawn mower, but nobody would feel they have any control over the machine. (Kron 130). People are free to customize their possessions to suit their needs and wants. Public possessions do not offer the person any comfort as he or she is not free to manipulate it and change it to better represent the ideals he or she may have.
Possessions also give people a sense of security because they give people a means of competition. Having certain items allow a person to show how better off he or she is compared to the others who may or may not have the item.
Losing an item, whether by theft or destruction, can leave people feeling empty, especially if the item in question had any significant value to them. The situation can also leave the person angry as the item may have been very expensive and is not easily replaceable. It may be normal for people to react in this way; however, it is not a healthy way to feel. People become too attached to the materials collected, and end up breaking down because what they believe to be the only sign of hard work they have acquired has been lost.

Albert Virgen
10/21/2013 3:19am

According to Joan Kron our possessions are representations of people because they are in some way or another a part of us, they make us feel at home. But besides being simply our possessions they also represent the type of items that surround us. She states that home decor is a symbol of oneself, and everyone in this society is either a status-seeker or a status-reader. I personally felt this when I left home for the first time and found myself in an empty apartment in New York. I knew that I would live there for what seemed like more than a year, but upon my arrival I only had simple possession’s such as jewelry passed down from my parents and photographs. Building my home from scratch was very hard to do because I had to find items that I was comfortable with, something that would help me feel as though I was at home. With time I found that home was now Ikea products, and my memories would start with those newly purchased Items.

Eventually I began to bond with these items, and take them in as my own. But when I went to another apartment I found that it was very strange how other students my age had to publicly display their items (purchased from the same store) in a manner which to them displayed wealth. Their status was very important when presenting those items. It didn’t, matter to me, but more so to my roommates who tried mimicking the others. It was almost as if the items they had didn’t matter as much because it lowered their place in society.

I believe that when we have our items, it is important to build a relationship with them because they give a sense of familiarity and comfort. Kron explains this assertion by mentioning the way we feel in control. Control brings about comfort, In life it is what is usually what becomes most familiar to you, they control you have over the items around you, and your environment.

Erika Cayabyab
10/21/2013 11:08am

According to Kron, our home possessions reveal to visitors the type of class we are categorized in. With that, these possessions give us a sense of stability and security because these things make us feel like we are more financially safe. Very high-end furniture, for example, will give visitors the impression that you are able to afford such things and thus will accomplish the one thing you wanted: an illusion that you are financially stable. Owning such products give us a sense of control and authority. These possessions help people discover the status of others by showing visual illustrations in the form of high-end products, furniture, etc. Although, having designer brand possessions don’t necessarily reveal the financial status of someone.

The goal people want to accomplish is the assumption that they are essentially rich. Kron helps readers realize that the loss of control of such possessions is, in a way, a loss of self. People need to have the satisfaction of being comfortable in relation to their belongings, otherwise it’ll give them stress and troubling thoughts. This is an unhealthy feeling because it proves that such possessions are so highly valued that if you were to lose something, there will be a great shift in attitude and personality. It also supports the idea that having lack of control in possessing something will give someone continual anxiety.

10/21/2013 11:20pm

Our possessions identify who we are and how we want to be perceived. People use interior design, to hang on walls their identities. Every home has the style that a person chose and that usually reflects what their personal style is. For example, if a young girl feels and dresses like a princess then most likely her home will be designed with some fairytale, or princess influence. Our homes are our personal spaces and it is where we are able to personalize with items, possessions that we have a connection with.
In the article, Martin Davidson price tagged his possessions, this way he informs others that he is able to afford expensive items. He wants his possessions to show others how well he has done, economically. He is showcasing his hard work and showing off that he is better than others. People in society showcase their expensive iphones or Samsung Galaxy’s to show others that they have better phones than others. Kron is emphasizing that people link their status in society with their possessions, if a person owns a expensive radio system then they must be wealthy. If a person is able to define their high status with possessions then they will be treated better because others will have realized that their possessions make them different than others.
Kron argues that, “our possessions give us a sense of security and stability” because they make us feel in control.(Kron 130). People urge to be in control of items because if they don’t own it then others will. Possessions allow people to control what they do and who they are. The power of possessing is not only to control but also to compete with others. For example, if a neighbor buys a expensive lawn mower then other neighbors will compete and buy better, newer lawn mowers. Competition allows people to feel better than others and show how good a person can be.
If for some reason our possessions were to be harmed by a natural disaster or a theft then we would feel hopeless and angry. Some natural disasters are not foreseen and even if a person is informed of a Tornado or hurricane they try to protect their possessions because it is everything they have. If something was to happen to these possessions people would suffer either similar or more than when a love one has passed. I believe it is unhealthy because items should not be in control of our lives. I personally do not allow a item to rule my life entirely. I use them for their purpose function. Even though it would be devastating to lose my lap top, I could live with out it. I think that possessions are just a component to our identity, people should learn to use things for their functions and not try to build a life around it. Materialistic items are replaceable.

Comments are closed.

    Prof. David Fulton

    I received my MA in English from CSU, Northridge and his .MFA in Creative Writing from CSU, Long Beach. I have  been teaching College English since 2004.. I am a published poet and was recently a Pushcart Prize finalist for my poem "Hubris" In addition to teaching,, I enjoy cooking, figuring out how to garden, going to the gym, researching Shakespeare, and watching MMA. 


    October 2013
    September 2013
    August 2013