Wednesday, 21 March 2007

The Five Stages of Scrapbooking

Anyone who took psychology as a minor subject will have received the basic psych package that included Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need and the Kübler-Ross model of five discrete emotional stages when dealing with loss.

While not entirely convinced of the applicability of either of these models to humans generally, there are in fact echoes of each of these models within the world of scrapbooking.

They are symbiotic and synergistic – that is, neither of these models could exist or operate independantly of the other. The models reflect the positions of two individuals within a relationship with the addition of a third factor that might be argued by some as catalytic although some hold the view that this third factor is best represented as a reactant.

The two individuals have oppositional roles, but in some cases can appear more collaborative than competative. This greater cooperation does not appear to impact on the models as they will be described further.

We shall term the first individual as the ‘scrapper’. Their role is essentially a creative role – using resources to creat aesthetically pleasing objects.

The second individual is the ‘non-scrapper’ or ‘scrapper’s partner’. This role is one of finding resources and providing these for the scrapper’s use.

The behaviour of the two individuals can be loosely bounded by two distinct continuums that define stages as they progress in shaping their own role. It must be cautiously noted that not all scrappers, or scrapper’s partners may pass through each of the stages or in the order that they are described. In a general sense, observed behaviours do however follow these patterns.

For a Scrapper: The role of the Scrapper we shall describe as ‘Grendel’s Hierarchy of Scrap’

Tangible – “What am I going to do with my photos?” or perhaps “I need a hobby” or even
“Hey that album is a lot nicer than my old one”

Perpetuation – “I’m not sure I like this hobby much, I’m terrible at it, but I’ve spent so much money on the tools and paper that if I don’t use it all he’ll be grumpy for a month!”

Positioning – “I’m getting good at this – my layouts are better than most of those in the magazines!”

Esteem – “I’ve been published – my layouts ARE better than hers!”

Transcendence – “Oh no, I don’t bother to send layouts in for consideration anymore, I’m just doing it for the art.”

For a Scrapper's Partner: The role of the Scrapper's Partner we shall describe as ‘Grendel’s Five Realisations of Being a Scrapper’s Partner’

Denial – The usual first stage – “This won’t last, it’s just a brief (expensive) fad”

Fear – “My god she’s been at this for six months and shows no sign of slowing up!”

Bargaining – “Perhaps you should think about a Scrapping related business to help sustain the hobby? Then it would also be a tax deduction!”

Retaliation – “Time for an expensive hobby of my own”

Acceptance – “We can’t keep this up, I’d better sell the fishing boat/golf clubs/glider/drag racer/Harley/Satellite communications array. . .”

(as a final note, the peak of Maslow’s Hierarchy is ‘self actualisation’ and the creation of aesthetically pleasing objects is usually considered one way of fulfilling this need so it might be argued that scrappers have full lives that meet all of the lower order needs. Make of that what you will!)


CarolineO said...

Love your 5 stages from the two points of view!

Chrissie said...


Lissy said...

Spot on :) Love it :)