Category Archives: Secondhand research

CFP – Special Issue of JOMEC Journal – Secondhand Cultures in Unsettled Times

Secondhand Cultures in Unsettled Times

Special Issue of JOMEC Journal

Due date for submissions: Monday 22 November 2021

Secondhand cultures and practices have expanded and transformed over recent decades, with profound social, political, and environmental implications. From reselling sites, swaps, charity shops, and thrift stores, to global waste streams, markets, and waste picking, secondhand worlds invite challenging questions: on value and waste, labour and equity, damage and repair, sustainability and design, ethics and politics, death and renewal, and intersecting areas of class, gender, race, and disability, as well as of method and approach. What’s more, secondhand economies have been unsettled by the global pandemic in ways that are not yet well understood.

Inspired by discussions that unfolded during a virtual symposium held in June 2021, called ‘Secondhand Cultures in Unsettled Times,’ we are inviting submissions to a special issue of JOMEC Journal on the same theme.

As interest in secondhand cultures and practices surges – from governments and businesses looking to capitalise on this ‘new’ market, as well as from makers, workers, shoppers and researchers – we are particularly interested in submissions that critically interrogate and/or creatively intervene in how we understand secondhand cultures and economies around the world.

Co-editors: Dr Jennifer Lynn Ayres (NYU and Parsons, The New School); Dr Triona Fitton (University of Kent); Dr Alida Payson (Cardiff University)

To discuss an idea, please get in touch with us @

We welcome work from researchers and practitioners at all career stages.

JOMEC Journal offers the following guidelines for submissions, but please contact us if you have an alternative format in mind:

  • Article (5–10k words)
  • Interview or discussion (5–10k words)
  • Book Review (1,500 words)
  • Conference Report (2,000 words)

JOMEC Journal is an online, open-access journal from Cardiff University Press:

Due date for submissions: Monday 22 November 2021

Publication date: planned for February/March 2022

More information about submissions can be found here:

Please submit references in Harvard style for ease of editing. Our guide can be found here:


Diwylliannau Ail-law ar Adegau Ansicr

Rhifyn Arbennig o Gyfnodolyn JOMEC

Dyddiad cau ar gyfer cyflwyniadau: Dydd Llun, 22 Tachwedd 2021

Mae diwylliannau ac arferion ail-law wedi ehangu a newid dros y degawdau diwethaf a chael effaith aruthrol ar gymdeithas, yr amgylchedd a’r byd gwleidyddol. O wefannau ailwerthu, cyfnewidiadau a siopau elusen ac ail-law i ffrydiau gwastraff byd-eang, marchnadoedd a digwyddiadau casglu gwastraff, mae bydoedd ail-law’n gwahodd cwestiynau heriol: ar werth a gwastraff, llafur a thegwch, difrod ac atgyweirio, cynaliadwyedd a dylunio, moeseg a gwleidyddiaeth, marwolaeth ac adnewyddu, meysydd croestoriadol dosbarth, rhyw, hil ac anabledd, yn ogystal â dulliau ac ymagwedd. Yn fwy na hynny, mae’r pandemig byd-eang wedi tarfu ar economïau ail-law mewn ffyrdd nad ydym yn eu deall yn llawn eto.

A ninnau wedi ein hysbrydoli gan drafodaethau a ddatblygodd yn ystod symposiwm rhithwir ym mis Mehefin 2021 o’r enw ‘Diwylliannau Ail-law ar Adegau Ansicr’, rydym yn gwahodd cyflwyniadau i rifyn arbennig o Gyfnodolyn JOMEC ar yr un thema.

Wrth i ddiddordeb mewn diwylliannau ac arferion ail-law gynyddu – ymhlith llywodraethau a busnesau sy’n ceisio manteisio ar y farchnad ‘newydd’ hon, yn ogystal â gwneuthurwyr, gweithwyr, siopwyr ac ymchwilwyr – mae gennym ddiddordeb arbennig mewn cyflwyniadau sy’n cwestiynu’n feirniadol sut rydym yn deall diwylliannau ac economïau ail-law ledled y byd a/neu’n ymyrryd mewn ffordd greadigol.

Cyd-olygyddion: Dr Jennifer Lynn Ayres (Prifysgol Efrog Newydd a Parsons, Yr Ysgol Newydd); Dr Triona Fitton (Prifysgol Caint); Dr Alida Payson (Prifysgol Caerdydd)

I drafod syniad, cysylltwch â ni drwy ebostio

Rydym yn croesawu gwaith gan ymchwilwyr ac ymarferwyr ar unrhyw gam o’u gyrfa.

Mae Cyfnodolyn JOMEC yn cynnig y canllawiau canlynol ar gyfer cyflwyniadau, ond cysylltwch â ni os oes gennych fformat arall mewn golwg:

  • Erthygl (rhwng 5,000 a 10,000 o eiriau)
  • Cyfweliad neu drafodaeth (rhwng 5,000 a 10,000 o eiriau)
  • Adolygiad Llyfr (1,500 o eiriau)
  • Adroddiad Cynhadledd (2,000 o eiriau)

Cyfnodolyn mynediad agored ar-lein gan Wasg Prifysgol Caerdydd yw Cyfnodolyn JOMEC:

Dyddiad cau ar gyfer cyflwyniadau: Dydd Llun, 22 Tachwedd 2021

Dyddiad cyhoeddi arfaethedig: Chwefror / Mawrth 2022

Mae rhagor o wybodaeth am gyflwyniadau i’w gweld yma:

Sicrhewch eich bod yn defnyddio dull cyfeirnodi Harvard er mwyn hwyluso gwaith golygu. Gellir gweld ein canllawiau yma:

Thrift labours: Charity shops in the austerity economy

This post is by Dr Alida Payson, and reposted from Journalism, Media & Culture: the Official JOMEC Blog – commentary, debate and opinion 2019

For the past six months, I have been going to a lot of charity shops. This is not so unusual for me, an avid thrifter who grew up trawling cavernous Goodwill and Salvation Army warehouse stores in strip malls across the US.

I’ve relished charity shops here in the UK for years. But I have been going to more shops than usual lately, and venturing farther afield. And I have been browsing with sharper attention, snapping photos of shop windows, trying to remember every quirky detail before scuttling off to type up my notes.

I have often been overwhelmed at the variety and quantity of stuff: a child’s hairdressing doll staring balefully from under a towering blonde rat’s nest; an immaculate 1930s hand-crank Singer sewing machine; tattered polka and soul and 80s pop records; a blue porcelain soup tureen; at least 17 copies of Love Actually; acres of polyester tops and dresses from the same ten brands; a museum’s worth of slow cookers and sherry glasses; packs of new pants and socks next to mugs celebrating the Queen’s various jubilees, or shaped like a football or a hippopotamus, or printed with a periodic table of obscenities.

Charity shops are apparently everywhere because they are everywhere. According to the Charity Retail Association, the number of charity shops in the UK has nearly doubled every decade since the mid-90s, and has been hovering around 11,700 since 2017.

Used by many and loved by some, charity shops recirculate thousands of tons of castoff material culture – winter coats and glittery heels, plastic toys and vintage teapots, vinyl records and DVDs, school uniforms and sofas.

But as precarity and poverty worsen and public services recede under austerity, charity shops have also come to play an expanding role in what Patricia Mooney Nickel (2016: 173) calls the ‘welfare mix’: the loose array of agencies, organisations and relationships on which people actually rely for their everyday livelihoods.

So if overwhelmed and sometimes wearied by the avalanche of stuff in charity shops, I have been surprised and intrigued by what people are doing here. While I am sure some shops get ‘ransacked’ by style-hungry shoppers, as Angela McRobbie (1989) described it, picked over by middle-class young women hunting (as I do, sometimes) for dresses, in most of the shops I have visited people seem to be up to something different.

That difference is part of what I’m interested in: what kinds of work or labour are happening in these spaces, and in particular, how people are using them to get by, make do and live together as inequalities and social welfare cuts deepen. (Elsewhere in this three-year research project on charity shops under the austerity economy, I also explore how charity shops appear in the news, public discourse, and popular culture, from Mary, Queen of Charity Shops (BBC2, 2009), to the mockumentary web series Charity Shop Sue (YouTube, 2019).

Delyth Edwards and Lisanne Gibson (2017) argue that charity shops are not only sites of consumption, but used like libraries, as sites of local connection and resources, and as craft supply stores. Jen Ayres (2017) tracks the creative ways shoppers pick through thrift stores as independent income-generating ventures in precarious times. Triona Fitton (2013) describes the ‘quiet’ connections of charity retail to other, perhaps unexpected sectors: social services, for-profit retailers, the police, prison and probation systems. Ruben Flores (2014) writes about the emotional side of the care work that volunteers do, framed as labours of compassion.

In the seminar this week, I explore how charity shops serve as important sites of different forms of cultural labour typical of the austerity economy. Drawing on debates in feminist economics, cultural studies, and cultural geography, as well as recent fieldwork, I identify three forms of labour in particular: 1) ‘provisioning’, or the everyday, often collective, relational work people do to get by and make a living; 2) a mix of re-fashioning, reselling, rehabilitative and hope labour I am calling makeover labour; and 3) the work of navigating charity shops as sites of welfare governance and carceral space. Arguing that all three of these forms of labour are characteristic of the austerity economy, I explore how thinking about charity shops can help us to understand more about how a shifting, caustic present is lived and felt.

Symposium Flier

Secondhand Cultures in Unsettled Times

Virtual Symposium >> 15-16 June 2021

Secondhand cultures and practices, from reselling sites to charity shops and thrift stores to waste picking, have expanded and transformed over recent decades, with profound social, political, and environmental implications.

Despite vibrant and growing research into secondhand worlds, opportunities to share and discuss this research across interdisciplinary boundaries have been rare. Further, secondhand cultures have been unsettled by the global pandemic in ways that are not yet well understood.

This virtual symposium brings together scholars and practitioners across disciplines to problematise and explore secondhand cultures in unsettled times.

We are delighted to share our keynote speakers for the event will be:

Professor Angela McRobbie, Goldsmiths, University of London

Professor Avril Maddrell, University of Reading

The Symposium will bring together a lively collection of papers from scholars around the world on a range of secondhand topics, as well as hands-on workshops, practitioner panels, book talks, short films, and plenty of opportunities for participants to connect and share ideas.

Based on the symposium, we will co-edit a special issue of JOMEC Journal, an online, open-access and peer reviewed journal dedicated to publishing the highest quality innovative academic work in journalism, media, cultural studies, and other interlocking fields, for late 2021.

We hope to see you there!

Dr Jennifer Lynn Ayres, New York University; Dr Triona Fitton, University of Kent, and Dr Alida Payson, Cardiff University

The event is free, but registration is required.

Please register here: