Life at home in the twenty-first century

Arnold, J. E. (2013). Life at home in the twenty-first century: 32 families open their doors. Los Angeles: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press.

An enticing ethnographic study of life in a small sample of families in Los Angeles, California. Ethnography offers the advantage of detailed, in-depth examination of everyday life. This book provides a rich analysis of 32 families in Los Angeles, California. When studied, it yields huge insights into how people arrange their households, organize them, and how they struggle to fit all their numerous activities into their lives. The text and numerous detailed photographs are engrossing.

Detailed studies such as this one have one obvious weakness: the small sample size. Are these 32 families representative of Los Angeles? Or of California? Or of the United States, let alone the entire world? You have to be the judge of that. I believe there are both universal insights as well as the distortions that result from the limited sample.

Link to book at Life at Home in the Twenty-first Century: 32 Families Open their Doors