Of Art and Drudgery: Homekeeping, Martha Stewart, and Techné

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Stewart’s voice is an exceptionally influential viewpoint in how we imagine and construct the twenty-first century North American home. In an era where more women than men attend college and where women make up a (slim) majority of the workforce, Stewart’s popularity is baffling to many. Locating Stewart within North American traditions of domestic advice, the author investigates how Stewart frames domestic arts as techné, arguing that Stewart’s profitability and popularity are so robust and wide-reaching because she rescues domestic arts from denigration, refiguring homekeeping as a techné of worth and importance. This article provides a framework for understanding the meaningful ways domesticity and design function as an ethics of daily life, problematizing the gendered dichotomy between production and consumption.

Original Citation

McNaughton, M.J. (2016). Of Art and Drudgery: Homekeeping, Martha Stewart, and Techné. Home Cultures, 13(1), 39-62. https://doi.org/10.1080/17406315.2016.1122964