Do-it-yourself refers to people providing for themselves services that they could be expected to pay a professional to provide. While a vast range of activities can be undertaken under the label of do-it-yourself (DIY), the term emerged as a recognizable cultural phenomenon in relation to home maintenance and repair, and that remains its core field of reference and is the main focus of this entry.

Throughout history and across cultures, householders have of course done home maintenance and improvement, and even construction, themselves. Yet DIY and the use of the term to refer to a more or less bounded field of meanings and activities is both culturally specific and historically recent. Understanding the emergence of the term helps to further illuminate the position of DIY within ...

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