This book was nearly ten years in the making. Ethnographies, such as this one, which was based on a large case study, almost 300 hundred very detailed responses to Mass-Observation directive, are a necessarily slow research process of reading and re-reading. The weight of material presented in the book enabled me to present, what I hope is a very rich account of the power of objects in everyday domestic life between 1945 and today, providing me with enough evidence to re-think both theories and methodologies of consumption.
I argue that consumption may not be the most appropriate framework through which to view the acts of possession and the preservation of things. Case study methods, which should work towards comparison and generalisation, should also, I suggest, be more rigorously applied. An analysis of the gift as an anthropological category as object of exchange in the contemporary domestic world is also an important focus but my project in The Wedding Present was not only to contribute to series of academic debates but also to attempt to do justice to everyday domestic experience.