Each Wednesday, I usually write a post from my dissertation.
For some scrapbookers, physically spending time with a specific person is just as, if not more important than actually accomplishing the scrapbooking. Some crop with religious groups strengthening their involvement with both their religion and their hobby in the process. Cropping to also socialize is often compared to quilting bees.
Attending crops is a chance:
to share. It reminds me of the old quilting bees of years ago where women would get together and work on a joint project and when it was done they had something that they did that they could share and the experience of it and also share in the outcome of it. Scrapbooking is the same way even though you are working on your own book; people share leftover papers and scraps of this or techniques of ideas. So that in the end of it, you’ve got something beautiful that a community of people have had input in.
Scrapbookers cropping together share ideas, materials, and tools. They also motivate one another so that they believe they are more productive. Respondents mention cropping at a store was a way to make friends. One respondent uses meetup.org to find scrapbooking friends to crop with.
Scrapbookers are not the first, nor the last to do their craft (or work) in groups. Other crafters, such as knitters (Potts 2006), practice their craft in groups, too. The Oneida Community did many of their tasks “by the ordinance of bees” (Robertson 1970:48). Doing tasks such as shelling peas or paring apples as a group makes the work fun whereas to do it alone is monotonous. It is possible that some scrapbookers feel the same way about scrapbooking though this does not seem to be the case among my respondents. The Oneida Community find the bees to be “a good promoter of family spirit” (Robertson 1970:61). In other words bees are used to make tedious work fun and contribute to a sense of we-ness or group solidarity. Scrapbooking, too, can be tedious and people who otherwise have nothing in common find a sense of community among other scrapbookers, often through crops. Doing things together and at the same time—or temporal synchronicity—contributes to a sense of we-ness (Zerubavel 1981).
The same socializing that some find appealing, others find unappealing. For instance, one respondent only likes scrapbooking with her mother because she is shy and finds cropping with others to be too distracting. It seems that crops are a place where some scrapbookers are able to accomplish a lot of scrapbooking because it gives them space and time to devote to the hobby. For others, it is a hassle (to bring all of their supplies) and too distracting to accomplish much scrapbooking. Some never considered cropping with others or do not know others who scrapbook. Others have not found a group they click with. Finally, some respondents once cropped with others and do not anymore.
What is the role of socializing in cropping for you?
Potts, C. Brady. 2006. “Knitting Together: Sociable Charity in a U.S. Voluntary Association.” Presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. Montréal, Québec.
Robertson, Constance Noyes. 1970. Oneida Community: An Autobiography, 1851-1876. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press.
Zerubavel, Eviatar. 1981. Hidden Rhythms: Schedules and Calendars in Social Life. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
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