Material Cultures

Why Some Things Matter

Author: Daniel Miller

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1135361630

Category: Social Science

Page: 256

View: 3534

This volume is an ethnographic study of material cultures. Incorporating local and global dimensions, a team of scholars explore the changing experiences of cultures in locations as disparate as the Philippines and Northern Ireland. Material culture and consumption studies have undergone something of a renaissance recently. This study provides an up-to-date analysis of a developing field in sociological and anthropological based courses.; This book is intended for undergraduate/MA courses on material culture and consumption within cultural studies and anthropology degree schemes.
Posted in Social Science

The Material Culture of Failure

When Things Do Wrong

Author: Timothy Carroll,David Jeevendrampillai,Aaron Parkhurst,Julie Shackelford

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 147428910X

Category: Social Science

Page: 232

View: 8556

What happens when objects behave unexpectedly or fail to do what they 'should'? Who defines failure? Is failure always bad? Rather than viewing concepts such as failure, incoherence or incompetence as antithetical to social life, this innovative new book examines the unexpected and surprising ways in which failure can lead to positive and creative results. Combining both theoretical and ethnographic approaches to failure, The Material Culture of Failure explores how failure manifests itself and operates in a variety of contexts. The editors present ten ethnographic encounters of failure – from areas as diverse as design, textiles, religion, beauty, and physical failure – covering Europe, North America, Asia, Africa, and the Arabian Gulf. Identifying common themes such as interpersonal, national and religious articulations of power and identity, the book shows some of the underlying assumptions that are revealed when materials fail, designs crumble, or things develop unexpectedly. The first anthropological study dedicated to theorizing failure, this innovative collection offers fresh insights based on the latest scholarship. Destined to stimulate a new area of research, the book makes a vital contribution to material culture studies and related social science theory.
Posted in Social Science

The Material Cultures of Enlightenment Arts and Sciences

Author: Adriana Craciun

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137443790

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 322

View: 375

In this book the eighteenth century Enlightenment receives an important reassessment, using an astonishing range of materials and objects drawn from Europe and beyond, including artefacts from India and China, West Africa and Polynesia. A series of authoritative essays written by experts in the field explores the full range of material culture in the long eighteenth century, raising crucial questions about notions of property and invention, homely and commercial lives. The book also includes a series of well-illustrated exhibits, a startling and provocative assemblage of objects from the Enlightenment world, each accompanied by expert commentaries. The collection of essays and exhibits is the result of collaborative debate by scholars from Europe and north America, who have together worked on the cross-disciplinary importance of material history in making sense of how past society was fundamentally transformed through the world of goods.
Posted in Literary Criticism

The Oxford Handbook of Material Culture Studies

Author: Dan Hicks,Mary C. Beaudry

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0199218714

Category: Social Science

Page: 792

View: 5166

Written by an international team of experts, the Handbook makes accessible a full range of theoretical and applied approaches to the study of material culture, and the place of materiality in social theory, presenting current thinking about material culture from the fields of archaeology, anthropology, geography, and science and technology studies.
Posted in Social Science

Material Cultures, Material Minds

The Impact of Things on Human Thought, Society, and Evolution

Author: Nicole Boivin

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521176132

Category: Social Science

Page: 288

View: 6321

Material culture has been part of a distinctively human way of life for over two million years. Recent symbolic and social analyses have drawn much attention to the role of material culture in human society, emphasizing the representational and ideological aspects of the material world. These studies have, nonetheless, often overlooked how the very physicality of material culture and our material surroundings make them unique and distinctive from text and discourse. In this study, Nicole Boivin explores how the physicality of the material world shapes our thoughts, emotions, cosmological frameworks, social relations, and even our bodies. Focusing on the agency of material culture, she draws on the work of a diverse range of thinkers, from Marx and Merleau-Ponty to Darwin, while highlighting a wide selection of new studies in archaeology, cultural anthropology, history, cognitive science, and evolutionary biology. She asks what is distinctive about material culture compared to other aspects of human culture and presents a comprehensive overview of material agency that has much to offer to both scholars and students
Posted in Social Science

Technological Choices

Transformation in Material Cultures Since the Neolithic

Author: Pierre Lemonnier

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134522991

Category: Social Science

Page: 440

View: 8906

First published in 1993. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
Posted in Social Science

Material Cultures, Migrations, and Identities

What the Eye Cannot See

Author: Anna Pechurina

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137321784

Category: Social Science

Page: 171

View: 383

Focusing on the experiences of Russian migrants to the United Kingdom, this book explores the connection between migrations, homes and identities. It evaluates several approaches to studying them, and is structured around a series of case studies on attitudes to homemaking, food and cooking, and clothing.
Posted in Social Science

Material Cultures in Canada

Author: Thomas Allen,Jennifer Blair

Publisher: Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press

ISBN: 1771120169

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 355

View: 7504

Material Cultures in Canada presents the vibrant and diverse field of material culture studies in Canadian literary, artistic, and political contexts today. The first of its kind, this collection features sixteen essays by leading scholars in Canada, each of whom examines a different object of study, including the beaver, geraniums, comics, water, a musical playlist, and the human body. The book’s three sections focus, in turn, on objects that are persistently material, on things whose materiality blends into the immaterial, and on the materials of spaces. Contributors highlight some of the most exciting new developments in the field, such as the emergence of “new materialism,” affect theory, globalization studies, and environmental criticism. Although the book has a Canadian centre, the majority of its contributors consider objects that cross borders or otherwise resist national affiliation. This collection will be valuable to readers within and outside of Canada who are interested in material culture studies and, in addition, will appeal to anyone interested in the central debates taking place in Canadian political and cultural life today, such as climate change, citizenship, shifts in urban and small-town life, and the persistence of imperialism.
Posted in Literary Criticism

Investigating Archaeological Cultures

Material Culture, Variability, and Transmission

Author: Benjamin W. Roberts,Marc Vander Linden

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9781441969705

Category: Social Science

Page: 393

View: 775

Defining "culture" is an important step in undertaking archaeological research. Any thorough study of a particular culture first has to determine what that culture contains-- what particular time period, geographic region, and group of people make up that culture. The study of archaeology has many accepted definitions of particular cultures, but recently these accepted definitions have come into question. As archaeologists struggle to define cultures, they also seek to define the components of culture. This volume brings together 21 international case studies to explore the meaning of "culture" for regions around the globe and periods from the Paleolithic to the Bronze Age and beyond. Taking lessons and overarching themes from these studies, the contributors draw important conclusions about cultural transmission, technology development, and cultural development. The result is a comprehensive model for approaching the study of culture, broken down into regions (Russia, Continental Europe, North America, Britain, and Africa), materials (Lithics, Ceramics, Metals) and time periods. This work will be valuable to all archaeologists and cultural anthropologists, particularly those studying material culture.
Posted in Social Science

Bio- and Material Cultures at Qumran

Papers from a COST Action G8 Working Group Meeting Held in Jerusalem, Israel on 22-23 May 2005

Author: Jan Gunneweg

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Antiquities

Page: 296

View: 7689

Many important historical events have occured in ancient Israel. A huge amount of material signs of civilization has been excavated and studied and the bio- as well as material culture has shed light on how the ancients lived, what they did to stay alive, and what were the reasons they became ill and died. One of the most important gifts that has come to us just by an accidental find are the Dead Sea Scrolls that are the backbone for exploring the oral tradition between the spiritual writings of 2000 years ago and what is known today as the "Bible". The Dead Sea Scrolls are the focus of the Qumran Project and the scientific research has started to illuminate the background of these manuscripts. This volume summarises the presentations given at a meeting held at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem (Israel) in 2005. The Qumran Project is part of COST Action G8, entitled "Non-destructive analysis and testing of museum objects". G8 represents an European network fostering interdisciplinary cooperation to improve the preservation and conservation of our cultural heritage by increasing the information on museum objects through non-destructive analysis and testing. Action G8 and those proceedings have been supported by COST, an intergovernmental European framework that allows the coordination of nationally funded research at a pan-European level (see: www.cost.esf.org).
Posted in Antiquities

Understanding Material Culture

Author: Ian Woodward

Publisher: SAGE

ISBN: 1848607261

Category: Social Science

Page: 200

View: 6662

"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.
Posted in Social Science

Shakespeare and Material Culture

Author: Catherine Richardson

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199562288

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 221

View: 3267

OXFORD SHAKESPEARE TOPICS General Editors: Peter Holland and Stanley Wells Oxford Shakespeare Topics provide students and teachers with short books on important aspects of Shakespeare criticism and scholarship. Each book is written by an authority in its field, and combines accessible style with original discussion of its subject. What is the significance of Shylock's ring in The Merchant of Venice? How does Shakespeare create Gertrude's closet in Hamlet? How and why does Ariel prepare a banquet in The Tempest? In order to answer these and other questions, Shakespeare and Material Culture explores performance from the perspective of the material conditions of staging. In a period just starting to be touched by the allure of consumer culture, in which objects were central to the way gender and social status were experienced but also the subject of a palpable moral outrage, this book argues that material culture has a particularly complex and resonant role to play in Shakespeare's employment of his audience's imagination. Chapters address how props and costumes work within the drama's dense webs of language - how objects are invested with importance and how their worth is constructed through the narratives which surround them. They analyse how Shakespeare constructs rooms on the stage from the interrelation of props, the description of interior spaces and the dynamics between characters, and investigate the different kinds of early modern practices which could be staged - how the materiality of celebration, for instance, brings into play notions of hospitality and reciprocity. Shakespeare and Material Culture ends with a discussion of the way characters create unique languages by talking about things - languages of faerie, of madness, or of comedy - bringing into play objects and spaces which cannot be staged. Exploring things both seen and unseen, this book shows how the sheer variety of material cultures which Shakespeare brings onto the stage can shed fresh light on the relationship between the dynamics of drama and its reception and comprehension.
Posted in Literary Criticism

Material Culture and Asian Religions

Text, Image, Object

Author: Benjamin Fleming,Richard Mann

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1135013721

Category: Religion

Page: 308

View: 8906

Traditionally, research on the history of Asian religions has been marked by a bias for literary evidence, privileging canonical texts penned in ‘classical’ languages. Not only has a focus on literary evidence shaped the dominant narratives about the religious histories of Asia, in both scholarship and popular culture, but it has contributed to the tendency to study different religious traditions in relative isolation from one another. Today, moreover, historical work is often based on modern textual editions and, increasingly, on electronic databases. What may be lost, in the process, is the visceral sense of the text as artifact – as a material object that formed part of a broader material culture, in which the boundaries between religious traditions were sometimes more fluid than canonical literature might suggest. This volume brings together specialists in a variety of Asian cultures to discuss the methodological challenges involved in integrating material evidence for the reconstruction of the religious histories of South, Southeast, Central, and East Asia. By means of specific ‘test cases,’ the volume explores the importance of considering material and literary evidence in concert. What untold stories do these sources help us to recover? How might they push us to reevaluate historical narratives traditionally told from literary sources? By addressing these questions from the perspectives of different subfields and religious traditions, contributors map out the challenges involved in interpreting different types of data, assessing the problems of interpretation distinct to specific types of material evidence (e.g., coins, temple art, manuscripts, donative inscriptions) and considering the issues raised by the different patterns in the preservation of such evidence in different locales. Special attention is paid to newly-discovered and neglected sources; to our evidence for trade, migration, and inter-regional cultural exchange; and to geographical locales that served as "contact zones" connecting cultures. In addition, the chapters in this volume represent the rich range of religious traditions across Asia – including Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Shinto, and Chinese religions, as well as Islam and eastern Christianities.
Posted in Religion

History and Material Culture

A Student's Guide to Approaching Alternative Sources

Author: Karen Harvey

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1135690952

Category: History

Page: 224

View: 866

Sources are the raw material of history, but where the written word has traditionally been seen as the principal source, today historians are increasingly recognizing the value of sources beyond text. In History and Material Culture, Karen Harvey embarks upon a discussion about material culture – considering objects, often those found surrounding us in day to day life, as sources, which can help historians develop new interpretations and new knowledge about the past. Across ten chapters, different historians look at a variety of material sources from around the globe and across centuries to assess how such sources can be used to study history. While the sources are discussed from ‘interdisciplinary’ perspectives, each contributor examines how material culture can be approached from an historical viewpoint, and each chapter addresses its theme or approach in a way accessible to readers without expertise in the area. In her introduction, Karen Harvey discusses some of the key issues raised when historians use material culture, and suggests some basic steps for those new to these kinds of sources. Opening up the discipline of history to new approaches, and introducing those working in other disciplines to historical approaches, this book is the ideal introduction to the opportunities and challenges of researching material culture.
Posted in History

That Was Then, This Is Now

Contemporary Archaeology and Material Cultures in Australia

Author: Ursula K. Frederick,Anne Clarke

Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing

ISBN: 1443888710

Category: Social Science

Page: 204

View: 3708

That Was Then, This Is Now is a compendium of innovative research into the ideas, experiences, and iconographies embodied in materialities of the recent past. Drawing upon a variety of disciplines, including archaeology, history, art, and cultural geography, authors examine themes of relevance to the contemporary world, such as the impacts of automobility, the invisible effects of radioactivity, and the scale of future cities. It serves as a reminder, moreover, that issues that confront us as global citizens – mass consumption, population growth, technological development, and the conditions of belonging – find expression in the everyday objects, images and vestiges encountered in our ordinary lives. Through their examination of such artefacts as comic books, road memorials, bullet holes, showbags and cable ties, the authors explore the complex relations between people, places, and things and the emotions underpinning them – nostalgia, play, grief, and humour. Issues and ideas of international scope are addressed through a focused approach as authors locate their site-specific studies in both rural and urban geographies, as well as in the spaces of the imagination, the universe and even the personal home. Given the enormous scale and diversity of material generated by the practices of living in the present, it is difficult to imagine how the archaeologies and material cultures of the contemporary world may be defined. The studies presented here offer a way forward, and, in doing so, point reflexively to the past, as well as the now and the future of things to come.
Posted in Social Science

Handbook of Material Culture

Author: Chris Tilley,Webb Keane,Susanne Kuechler,Mike Rowlands,Patricia Spyer

Publisher: SAGE

ISBN: 1446206432

Category: Social Science

Page: 576

View: 5010

The study of material culture is concerned with the relationship between persons and things in the past and in the present, in urban and industrialized and in small-scale societies across the globe. The Handbook of Material Culture provides a critical survey of the theories, concepts, intellectual debates, substantive domains and traditions of study characterizing the analysis of things. It is cutting-edge: rather than simply reviewing the field as it currently exists. It also attempts to chart the future: the manner in which material culture studies may be extended and developed. The Handbook of Material Culture is divided into five sections. • Section I maps material culture studies as a theoretical and conceptual field. • Section II examines the relationship between material forms, the human body and the senses. • Section III focuses on subject-object relations. • Section IV considers things in terms of processes and transformations in terms of production, exchange and consumption, performance and the significance of things over the long-term. • Section V considers the contemporary politics and poetics of displaying, representing and conserving material and the manner in which this impacts on notions of heritage, tradition and identity. The Handbook charts an interdisciplinary field of studies that makes an unique and fundamental contribution to an understanding of what it means to be human. It will be of interest to all who work in the social and historical sciences, from anthropologists and archaeologists to human geographers to scholars working in heritage, design and cultural studies.
Posted in Social Science

Writing Material Culture History

Author: Anne Gerritsen,Giorgio Riello

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1472518594

Category: History

Page: 304

View: 9458

Writing Material Culture History examines the methodologies currently used in the historical study of material culture. Touching on archaeology, art history, literary studies and anthropology, the book provides history students with a fundamental understanding of the relationship between artefacts and historical narratives. The role of museums, the impact of the digital age and the representations of objects in public history are just some of the issues addressed in a book that brings together key scholars from around the world. A range of artefacts, including a 16th-century Peruvian crown and a 19th-century Alaskan Sea Lion overcoat, are considered, illustrating the myriad ways in which objects and history relate to one another. Bringing together scholars working in a variety of disciplines, this book provides a critical introduction for students interested in material culture, history and historical methodologies.
Posted in History

Handbook of Material Culture

Author: Chris Tilley

Publisher: SAGE

ISBN: 9781412900393

Category: Social Science

Page: 556

View: 5417

The Handbook of Material Culture provides a critical survey of the theories, concepts, intellectual debates, substantive domains, and traditions of study characterizing the analysis of "things." This cutting-edge work examines the current state of material culture as well as how this field of study may be extended and developed in the future.
Posted in Social Science

"Material Cultures, 1740?920 "

The Meanings and Pleasures of Collecting

Author: Alla Myzelev

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351558935

Category: Art

Page: 250

View: 1981

Interweaving notions of identity and subjectivity, spatial contexts, materiality and meaning, this collection makes a significant contribution to debates around the status and interpretation of visual and material culture. Material Cultures, 1740-1920 has four primary theoretical and historiographic lines of inquiry. The first is how concepts of otherness and difference inform, imbricate, and impose themselves on identity and the modes of acquisition as well as the objects themselves. The second concern explores the intricacies of how objects and their subjects negotiate and represent spatial narratives. The third thread attempts to unravel the ideological underpinnings of collections of individuals which inevitably and invariably rub up against the social, the institutional, and the political. Finally, at the heart of Material Cultures, 1740-1920 is an intervention moving beyond the disciplinary ethos of material culture to argue more firmly for the aesthetic, visual, and semiotic potency inseparable from any understanding of material objects integral to the lives of their collecting subjects. The collection argues that objects are semiotic conduits or signs of meanings, pleasures, and desires that are deeply subjective; more often than not, they reveal racial, gendered, and sexual identities. As the volume demonstrates through its various case studies, material and visual cultures are not as separate as our current disciplinary ethos would lead us to believe.
Posted in Art

Objects and Others

Essays on Museums and Material Culture

Author: George W. Stocking

Publisher: Univ of Wisconsin Press

ISBN: 9780299103231

Category: Social Science

Page: 240

View: 3751

History of Anthropology is a series of annual volumes, inaugurated in 1983, each of which treats an important theme in the history of anthropological inquiry. Objects and Others, the third volume, focuses on a number of questions relating to the history of museums and material culture studies: the interaction of museum arrangement and anthropological theory; the tension between anthropological research and popular education; the contribution of museum ethnography to aesthetic practice; the relationship of humanistic and anthropological culture, and of ethnic artifact and fine art; and, more generally, the representation of culture in material objects. As the first work to cover the development of museum anthropology since the mid-nineteenth century, it will be of great interest and value not only to anthropologist, museologists, and historians of science and the social sciences, but also to those interested in "primitive" art and its reception in the Western world.
Posted in Social Science