First Advisor

Michele R. Gamburd

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Anthropology






Second homes -- Technology, Leisure -- Sociological aspects, Home -- Psychological aspects



Physical Description

1 online resource (v, 143 p.) : col. ill., col. maps


This thesis, based on two years of ethnographic fieldwork in the US, Russia, France and Australia, focuses on technology use in second homes and its implications for technology design. I highlight the unexpectedly strong sense of nostalgia, for place as well as for richer relationships, felt in second homes around the world, and the ways in which second home residents use technology to shape space and behavior to reinforce this link to an imagined past. I show that the transition between main and second homes, with its rituals of preparation and transition between physical locations, allows residents to assume different identities in the two locations. These identities are based on location rather than role, and their second home identities allow them to showcase a part of themselves which does not flourish in the city. Lastly, I articulate the ways in which technology's logic is shaped by work environments, and how this logic does not always mesh well with the "messiness" of home lives. I further show that the choices of technology placement and acceptance in the home are a function of both how a technology is perceived (as aligned with work or leisure, for example) and of the behaviors residents value in the home, and an anthropologically informed understanding of these behaviors can, and should, influence product design choices.


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Portland State University. Dept. of Anthropology

Persistent Identifier