Of love and fur: Grandmothers, class, and inheritance in a southern Polish city

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Abstract / Description of output

This article analyses the pre‐mortem alternate‐generation inheritance of fur clothing in Kraków: a practice that speaks to the conventions of grandmother‐granddaughter relationships and also to the connection between inheritance and social class. The perception of fur as a symbolically loaded material enhances its suitability for being ‘kept in the family’. Clothing inheritance fosters bourgeois belonging over multiple generations, encouraging the patronage of selected spaces and services (including furriers). In the shorter term, however, generational differences within amicable grandmother‐granddaughter pairs are amplified in part through the way pre‐mortem inheritance practices highlight granddaughters' non‐reciprocable debt to their grandmothers. A focus on fur as a particular kind of object highlights the significance of certain inheritance practices and their links to the affective ties in the reproduction of class in Poland. The article also contributes to a broader understanding of the reproduction of class by analysing the interconnections between taste, the body, and memory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-85
JournalJournal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jan 2015

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