How might historians of the future describe the social significance of houses today, in 2015?

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  1. his is a tough question. There is very little written about the home or living spaces as such in social context. I know of two books on the subject. I would suggest an idea.

    Today' homes I the suburbs are isolated from one another and from the street behind deep lawns (setbacks from the street), the front porch is gone (we have decks and patios in the rear, not front), etc. In the past, in towns and cities, there were front porches and smaller setbacks, facilitating interaction with neighbors.

    In centuries past the home was also to location of one's business. The artisan worked at home. Customers, suppliers, etc., came and went in the same building with the children and other family members going about their own tasks, often in the same rooms. With the industrial revolution, fabrication of products moved to the factory and the home became more private. That trend has amplified in the last half of the 20th century.

    It may now be changing as young people are drawn back to cities from the 'burbs. Time will tell.

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  2. I'm not typing well. "home was also THE location..."

    Also, consider that there is anecdotal evidence that people are more afraid in 2015 than in the past. I heard a "story" on NPR the other day about how children used to have unsupervised time outdoors but parents today are afraid to let the kids run around town freely. Crime in the news makes us "skittish." What impact that has on the home or the house? Fenced in yards, security gates, etc. ?????

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  3. Another approach: Are homes now more a place to sleep and store clothing than a place to gather family and friends? Do we go out now instead of entertaining at home? Houses used to have dining rooms, parlors, etc. Now there are "great rooms" and urban apartments are often just a place to "hang your hat," not relax, cook, etc. That's hard to generalize, though.

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  4. Its ok Reed. I already came up with an answer

    Here was the answer i put:
    Compared to simple, small, affordable, yet decorative bungalows of the Progressive Era, historians of the future might describe the social significance of houses today, in 2015 as being big, glitzy, and technological savvy. This makes society over the top, greedy, and in some ways puts the rich into isolation because they are so focused on having everything big all the time.

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  5. Well, if you can afford a McMansion. What about the rest of us? You're generalizing in a way that may not fit.

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  6. Oh I get what you mean. Thanks for making that clear to me. I will try to revise it to make it better

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  7. Keep in mind that wealthy people have always had big houses. Think of mediaeval castles, Washington's Mount Vernon, the Newport mansions, etc. There' a fad or trend (time will tell) right now for tiny living paces as in micro apartments, tiny houses of under 1,000 square feet. Being "wired" is another thing, but does technology affect HOW we live in houses? If so, how?

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