The Materiality of Nothing: Exploring our everyday relationships with objects absent and present

Research output: Book/ReportBook


The Materiality of Nothing explores the invisible, intangible and transient materials and objects of everyday life and the relationships we have with them. Building on growing research on the everyday, the book unites the established field of material culture and materiality with emerging sociological studies exploring notions of nothing and the unmarked. In doing so, it enables the reader to question the everyday relationships and interactions they have with materials and objects around them.

Drawing upon original, empirical research by the author on topics such as lost property, museum curation, plastic microfibres, thrift and even hair, this book illuminates the importance of the materially invisible within our everyday lives. From the ongoing relationships we have with objects no longer in our possession but can vividly recollect, to everyday encounters with materials we cannot even see, to objects and materials which continually shift shape, altering our engagement with them, the materiality of nothing is a potent yet often hidden force around us.

This book engages with the intimate connections and affinities we have with the everyday stuff of life. It illuminates how even invisible and intangible materials conjure memories, meanings and identities, inextricably binding us to other people, places and things. In turn it engages with ongoing and pressing global challenges around sustainability and overconsumption, raising questions regarding society’s increasing need for material accumulation and posing the possibility of non-material alternatives.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAbingdon
Number of pages162
ISBN (Electronic)9781003130093
ISBN (Print)9780367655570
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2023

Publication series

NameMaterializing Culture


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