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Understanding Material Culture

Author: Ian Woodward
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 1848607261
Size: 12.84 MB
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"In his interdisciplinary review of material culture, Ian Woodward goes beyond synthesis to offer a theoretically innovative reconstruction of the field. It is filled with gems of conceptual insight and empirical discovery. A wonderful book." - Jeffrey C. Alexander, Yale University "A well-grounded and accessible survey of the burgeoning field of material culture studies for students in sociology and consumption studies. While situating the field within the history of intellectual thought in the broader social sciences, it offers detailed and accessible case studies. These are supplemented by very useful directions for further in-depth reading, making it an excellent undergraduate course companion." - Victor Buchli, University College London Why are i-pods and mobile phones fashion accessories? Why do people spend thousands remodelling their perfectly functional kitchen? Why do people crave shoes or handbags? Is our desire for objects unhealthy, or irrational? Objects have an inescapable hold over us, not just in consumer culture but increasingly in the disciplines that study social relations too. This book offers a systematic overview of the diverse ways of studying the material as culture. Surveying the field of material culture studies through an examination and synthesis of classical and contemporary scholarship on objects, commodities, consumption, and symbolization, this book: introduces the key concepts and approaches in the study of objects and their meanings presents the full sweep of core theory - from Marxist and critical approaches to structuralism and semiotics shows how and why people use objects to perform identity, achieve social status, and narrativize life experiences analyzes everyday domains in which objects are important shows why studying material culture is necessary for understanding the social. This book will be essential reading for students and researchers in sociology, anthropology, cultural studies, consumer behaviour studies, design and fashion studies.

Material Culture In America

Author: Helen Sheumaker
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 1576076474
Size: 46.46 MB
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Presents more than two hundred alphabetic entries that cover the history of American material culture, including such topics as adolescence, mourning, graphic design, Art Deco, and gay consumerism.

Understanding Material Text Cultures

Author: Markus Hilgert
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG
ISBN: 3110417847
Size: 39.71 MB
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The present volume comprises 6 highly original studies on material text cultures in different nontypographic societies stretching from the 3rd millennium cuneiform textual record of Ancient Mesopotamia to 20th century Qur’anic boards of northern and central African provenience. The volume provides a multidisciplinary approach to material text cultures complementary to the interdisciplinary, strongly theory-grounded research scheme of the CRC 933.

Religion Material Culture And Archaeology

Author: Julian Droogan
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 1441184317
Size: 78.22 MB
Format: PDF
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Religion, Material Culture and Archaeology offers a new understanding of the materiality of religion. By drawing on the field of archaeological theory and method, the relationship between religion and material culture is explored. It is argued that the material elements of religious life have been largely neglected by the discipline of religious studies, while at the same time religion has been traditionally seen as problematic for archaeologists. Why do we not talk of the discipline of the archaeology of religion, in the same way we do the anthropology of religion, or the sociology of religion? The volume considers the historical problems of approaching the material elements of religious life and bridges the methodological gap between religious studies and archaeology by proposing a new way of understanding the materiality of religion – as active, engaged and projecting a level of autonomous social agency. Finally, the critical examination of archaeological approaches to the materiality of religion is furthered through the consideration of non-archaeological ways of examining the social roles that material culture plays in human life.

Material Culture And Technology In Everyday Life

Author: Phillip Vannini
Publisher: Peter Lang
ISBN: 9781433103018
Size: 50.57 MB
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Focusing on the technoculture of everyday life, this book attempts to zero in on the simplicity and the habitual character of the interaction between humans and material objects, which is often assumed or taken for granted. Because objects are always meaningful in the pragmatic use to which they are directed, the material world of everyday life can be seen as a technoculture of its own – one made of behaviors as simple, and yet as significant, as using a lawnmower, or decorating one’s body. In discussing the unique methodological components of the ethnography of the technoculture of everyday life, this book begins a dialogue on how we can examine – from the participants’ perspective – the interconnections between social agents, their technological/material practices, their material objects or technics, and their social and material environment.

Material Culture And Authenticity

Author: Magdalena Craciun
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 147251713X
Size: 39.36 MB
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The study of material culture demonstrates that objects make people just as much as people make, exchange and consume objects. But what if these objects are, in the eyes of others, only fakes? What kind of material mirror are people looking into? Are their real selves really reflected in this mirror? This book provides an original and revealing study into engagements with objects that are not what they are claimed and presumed to be and, subsequently, are believed to betray their makers as well as users. Drawing upon an ethnography of fake branded garments in Turkey and Romania, Material Culture and Authenticity shows how people can make authentic positions for themselves in and through fake objects. The book will be of interest to students and scholars working in the fields of anthropology, material culture and cultural studies as well as to general readers interested in ethnographic alternatives to biographies of famous fakers and fakes.

Thinking Through Material Culture

Author: Carl Knappett
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 081220249X
Size: 54.96 MB
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Material culture surrounds us and yet is habitually overlooked. So integral is it to our everyday lives that we take it for granted. This attitude has also afflicted the academic analysis of material culture, although this is now beginning to change, with material culture recently emerging as a topic in its own right within the social sciences. Carl Knappett seeks to contribute to this emergent field by adopting a wide-ranging interdisciplinary approach that is rooted in archaeology and integrates anthropology, sociology, art history, semiotics, psychology, and cognitive science. His thesis is that humans both act and think through material culture; ways of knowing and ways of doing are ingrained within even the most mundane of objects. This requires that we adopt a relational perspective on material artifacts and human agents, as a means of characterizing their complex interdependencies. In order to illustrate the networks of meaning that result, Knappett discusses examples ranging from prehistoric Aegean ceramics to Zande hunting nets and contemporary art. Thinking Through Material Culture argues that, although material culture forms the bedrock of archaeology, the discipline has barely begun to address how fundamental artifacts are to human cognition and perception. This idea of codependency among mind, action, and matter opens the way for a novel and dynamic approach to all of material culture, both past and present.

Globalisation And The Roman World

Author: Martin Pitts
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1316061396
Size: 12.28 MB
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This book explores a new perspective for understanding the Roman world, using connectivity as a major point of departure. Globalisation is apparent in increased flows of objects, people and ideas and in the creation of translocal consciousness in everyday life. Based on these criteria, there is a case for globalisation in the ancient Roman world. Essential for anyone interested in Romanisation, this volume provides the first sustained critical exploration of globalisation theories in Roman archaeology and history. It is written by an international group of scholars who address a broad range of subjects, including Roman imperialism, economics, consumption, urbanism, migration, visual culture and heritage. The contributors explore the implications of understanding material culture in an interconnected Roman world, highlighting several novel directions for future research.

Youth Identities Localities And Visual Material Culture

Author: Kristen Ali Eglinton
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9400748574
Size: 26.89 MB
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This invaluable addition to Springer’s Explorations of Educational Purpose series is a revelatory ethnographic account of the visual material culture of contemporary youths in North America. The author’s detailed study follows apparently dissimilar groups (black and Latino/a in a New York City after-school club, and white and Indigenous in a small Canadian community) as they inflect their nascent identities with a sophisticated sense of visual material culture in today’s globalized world. It provides detailed proof of how much ethnography can add to what we know about young people’s development, in addition to its potential as a model to explore new and significant avenues in pedagogy. Supported by a wealth of ethnographic evidence, the analysis tracks its subjects’ responses to strikingly diverse material ranging from autobiographical accounts by rap artists to the built environment. It shows how young people from the world’s cultural epicenter, just like their counterparts in the sub-Arctic, construct racial, geographic and gender identities in ways that are subtly responsive to what they see around them, blending localized characteristics with more widely shared visual references that are now universally accessible through the Web. The work makes a persuasive case that youthful engagement with visual material culture is a relational and productive activity that is simultaneously local and global, at once constrained and enhanced by geography, and possesses a potent and life-affirming authenticity. Densely interwoven with young people’s perspectives, the author’s account sets out an innovative and interdisciplinary conceptual framework affording fresh insights into how today’s youth assimilate what they perceive to be significant. Supported by a wealth of ethnographic evidence, the analysis tracks its subjects’ responses to strikingly diverse material ranging from autobiographical accounts by rap artists to the built environment. It shows how young people from the world’s cultural epicenter, just like their counterparts in the sub-Arctic, construct racial, geographic and gender identities in ways that are subtly responsive to what they see around them, blending localized characteristics with more widely shared visual references that are now universally accessible through the Web. The work makes a persuasive case that youthful engagement with visual material culture is a relational and productive activity that is simultaneously local and global, at once constrained and enhanced by geography, and possesses a potent and life-affirming authenticity. Densely interwoven with young people’s perspectives, the author’s account sets out an innovative and interdisciplinary conceptual framework affording fresh insights into how today’s youth assimilate what they perceive to be significant. Supported by a wealth of ethnographic evidence, the analysis tracks its subjects’ responses to strikingly diverse material ranging from autobiographical accounts by rap artists to the built environment. It shows how young people from the world’s cultural epicenter, just like their counterparts in the sub-Arctic, construct racial, geographic and gender identities in ways that are subtly responsive to what they see around them, blending localized characteristics with more widely shared visual references that are now universally accessible through the Web. The work makes a persuasive case that youthful engagement with visual material culture is a relational and productive activity that is simultaneously local and global, at once constrained and enhanced by geography, and possesses a potent and life-affirming authenticity. Densely interwoven with young people’s perspectives, the author’s account sets out an innovative and interdisciplinary conceptual framework affording fresh insights into how today’s youth assimilate what they perceive to be significant.