Leach, R (2023) Turning over Stoke-on-Trent (pottery): ritual, affect and haunting. The Sociological Review. ISSN 0038-0261 (In Press)

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This paper is one of a series of explorations of the curious, ordinary-extraordinary practice of turning over pottery by people in/from Stoke-on-Trent. This is the widely practiced (Leach, 2016) habit of turning over a piece of ceramic ware, in situations away from home, to examine its origins. While on the surface, this practice is ostensibly to check the backstamp (the maker’s mark) that identifies its origins, I argue that this practice has a number of deeper meanings and resonances. What those who are not local often only understand as a question of antique provenance or value, my work shows that this practice carries with it broader meanings of the material culture of pottery-in-use, complex conceptions of the locality, as part of wider socio-cultural narratives of Stoke-on-Trent. In this paper, I address the critical, theoretical context in which this turning over practice might also be understood as marking, feeling and resisting socio-historical change. Drawing on both qualitative, empirical data and interdisciplinary theoretical work on affects, ritual/material culture and hauntology, the paper suggests the complex and often conflicted role that turning over plays is part of a response to de-industrialisation in Stoke-on-Trent. In recognising this specific micro-practice in this context of cultural troubling/haunting, the paper proposes object-focused rituals may operate homologically to ‘turn over’ locality.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted version of this publication available from http://www.thesociologicalreview.com/
Uncontrolled Keywords: pottery; ritual; haunting; turning over; Stoke-on-Trent
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social, Political and Global Studies
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 31 May 2023 15:55
Last Modified: 31 May 2023 15:55
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/12696

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