It Might Be Rubbish

P. ​​Atkinson (2020) "It Might Be Rubbish, but it's My Rubbish":
How the Makers of Cigar Box Guitars Resist Throwaway Culture.
Journal of Sustainability Research, 2 (4)

This paper explores the  creation, dissemination and performance  of cigar box guitars. These objects are almost exclusively based on notions of recycling, reuse and repurposing, and as such extend the life of component parts used. Also, as hand-crafted labours of love, the instruments are often the focus of strong emotional bonds to their makers. As a consequence of the usually very solitary nature of the activity, these makers make extensive use of online forums and networks to become part of a community of practice, openly sharing their knowledge and experience to help each other, and to celebrate their achievements of productive labour. It is argued that the ‘magic’ of the instruments produced and the support of a social media network is directly linked to the extension of product lifetimes of the objects made.


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