House as a Mirror of Self: Exploring the Deeper Meaning of Home

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This is a book about people and their homes. It is not about architecture, or decorating styles, or real estate, but about the more subtle bonds of feeling we experience with dwellings past and present. By sharing 25 years of research, and interviews with more than 60 individuals, UC Berkeley Architecture Professor Clare Cooper Marcus reveals a groundbreaking theory of what our relationship to our home says about ourselves. House as a Mirror of Self clearly and powerfully illustrates that, beginning in childhood, as we change and grow throughout our lives, our psychological development is punctuated not only by relationships with people, but also by close, affective ties with our physical environment.

This ground-breaking book explores what our relationships to our houses reveal about ourselves. Featuring interviews with over 100 people, and their color drawings about their homes as well as photos of their actual homes, UC Berkeley professor Marcus tells us what our houses would say to us if they could talk. Color drawings. Photos.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Marcus's eye-opening study of peoples' emotional ties to their houses, apartments, cottages, trailers and other dwellings offers useful, often startling perspectives on what makes a house a home. Maintaining, as did Carl Jung, that one's home is a symbolic mirror of one's inner self, of unconscious wishes and emotions, she interviewed approximately 60 people in their domestic settings, some over a 10-year period. Several respondents excessively bonded to a residence or its contents as a substitute for close relationships with people; at the opposite extreme were those who were unable to settle down in one place because having a permanent abode was fraught with unresolved emotional issues from childhood. Marcus, an architecture professor at UC-Berkeley, ably explores how personal crises, the need for privacy, couples' power struggles, divorce and career changes affect one's feelings about, and design of, one's living environment. Case studies, self-help exercises and informants' color drawings (not seen by PW) of their dwellings support her presentation. 40,000 first printing; $80,000 ad/promo; QPB selection; author tour. (Oct.)
Paper edition of a 1991 work examining the psychic bonds that grow between people and their physical environments, from infancy to adulthood, and how those bonds affect an array of other aspects of life. Deeply influenced by Carl Jung's discussion of the building of his own house in , the author explores, through a number of different stories, how people treat the idea of home and how this is reflected in childhood memories, the adult choice of home, excessive or insufficient bonding to home, the establishment of a home by people in relationships, and the relationship of home to ego. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780892541249
  • Publisher: Nicolas-Hays, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/28/2006
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,474,658
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

1 House as a Mirror of Self 3
2 The Special Places of Childhood 19
3 Growing Up: Self-Expression in the Homes of Adulthood 49
4 Always Or Never Leaving Home 81
5 Becoming More Fully Ourselves: Evolving Self-Image as Reflected in Our Homes 109
6 Becoming Partners: Power Struggles in Making a Home Together 135
7 Living and Working: Territory, Control, and Privacy at Home 161
8 Where to Live? Self-Image and Location 191
9 The Lost House: Disruptions in the Bonding With Home 221
10 Beyond the House-As-Ego: The Call of the Soul 251
Notes 293
References 303
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