Vintilă Mihăilescu
Pages 83-107
DOI: 10.5840/cultura201411216


As already stated by Alfred Marshall in 1891, a house is “the most conven- ient and obvious way of advancing a material claim to social distinction.” The pre- sent paper is tracking the means and meanings of such “claims” in the case of the new households built all over the Romanian post-peasant countryside. These “pride houses” are considered to by a local expression of a broader social phenomenon of “conspicuous constructions” (Thomas, 1998) generally linked to “new possibilities of consumption (that) have been used to embody elements of modernity” (Miller, 1995). In such a context offered by the fall of communism, the new rural dwellings are circulating global construction items and recycling their local meanings. The deep motivation behind these apparently irrational behaviours is considered to be a quest for authenticity (Taylor, 1991).