Understanding Material CultureUnderstanding Material Culture

The book explains the major theories, issues, and diverse viewpoints and practices of the field of material culture, and demonstrates how to use them through historical examples pulled from the vast collections of the Smithsonian.

Author: Katherine Ott


ISBN: 0415895863


Page: 256

View: 281

People live in a world surrounded by stuff. Yet few of us are taught to understand it or to think very deeply about it at all. "Material Culture" refers to the objects and artifacts that populate our environment that we can see and feel. It is through these objects and images of objects that people learn about and integrate themselves into the human community. Understanding Material Culture is an introduction to Material Literacy--the skill of being able to read and interpret material culture. It is a primer for understanding objects as the evidence of our way of life. The book explains the major theories, issues, and diverse viewpoints and practices of the field of material culture, and demonstrates how to use them through historical examples pulled from the vast collections of the Smithsonian. Perfect for students of history or museum studies, Understanding Material Culture is also helpful for anyone who's ever wondered what their stuff says about them.

Understanding Material CultureUnderstanding Material Culture

By commodity, Marx was referring to material culture that is defined by a specific relation generated within a system of monetary exchange and produced in capitalist social relations. Despite such exhortations to study material culture ...

Author: Ian Woodward

Publisher: SAGE

ISBN: 9781848607262


Page: 200

View: 945

"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.

The Oxford Handbook of Material Culture StudiesThe Oxford Handbook of Material Culture Studies

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 ...

Author: Dan Hicks

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 9780199218714


Page: 792

View: 631

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.

Material Culture in AmericaMaterial Culture in America

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.

Author: Helen Sheumaker

Publisher: ABC-CLIO

ISBN: 9781576076477


Page: 569

View: 860

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 CulturesUnderstanding Material Text Cultures

Abstract The Qur'anic board is a central object in the material culture of the Qur'an in the local Islamic centres of Africa. The board features ornaments and calligraphy, a symbolic language which one needs to learn and interpret.

Author: Markus Hilgert

Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG

ISBN: 9783110417845


Page: 286

View: 667

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.

Material Culture and Identities in EgyptologyMaterial Culture and Identities in Egyptology

The book examines the connection between identity and material culture, which forms the backbone of archaeology.

Author: Bettina Bader


ISBN: 370018798X


Page: 130

View: 973

The book examines the connection between identity and material culture, which forms the backbone of archaeology. The assumed direct relationship between the things of daily life and the aspects of identity such as gender, age or ethnicity to name but a few is challenged under consideration of post-colonial theories and critically applied to a case study in ancient Egypt (Tell el-Dab'a), which provides exclusively material culture for interpretation. Besides a detailed introduction to the formation and current use of aspects of identity and culture concepts with special regard to archaeology, definitions (such as 'entanglement' and 'appropriation') and a placement of fusions of material culture from various areas in the theoretical framework are proposed.

Metaphor and Material CultureMetaphor and Material Culture

This book provides an innovative contribution to debates about the use of metaphor in the social sciences written by one of today's foremost archaeological theorists.

Author: Christopher Tilley

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

ISBN: 0631192026


Page: 316

View: 785

This book provides an innovative contribution to debates about the use of metaphor in the social sciences written by one of today's foremost archaeological theorists.

Material Culture and Technology in Everyday LifeMaterial Culture and Technology in Everyday Life

5 Material Culture and Technoculture as Interaction Phillip Vannini Culture is what people think and do together ( cf. ... I attempt to develop an interdisciplinary understanding of material culture and technoculture .

Author: Phillip Vannini

Publisher: Peter Lang

ISBN: 143310301X


Page: 253

View: 275

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 in Russia and the USSRMaterial Culture in Russia and the USSR

Miles, S. (1996), 'The Cultural Capital of Consumption: Understanding Postmodern Identities in a Cultural Context', Culture and Psychology,2: 139-58. Miller, D. (1987), Material Culture and Mass Consumption,Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

Author: Graham H. Roberts

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781000181746


Page: 280

View: 681

Material Culture in Russia and the USSR comprises some of the most cutting-edge scholarship across anthropology, history and material and cultural studies relating to Russia and the Soviet Union, from Peter the Great to Putin.Material culture in Russia and the USSR holds a particularly important role, as the distinction between private and public spheres has at times developed in radically different ways than in many places in the more commonly studied West. With case studies covering alcohol, fashion, cinema, advertising and photography among other topics, this wide-ranging collection offers an unparalleled survey of material culture in Russia and the USSR and addresses core questions such as: what makes Russian and Soviet material culture distinctive; who produces it; what values it portrays; and how it relates to 'high culture' and consumer culture.

Writing Material Culture HistoryWriting Material Culture History

This new edition includes: A new substantive introduction from the editors, providing a useful roadmap for students and specialists.

Author: Anne Gerritsen

Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic

ISBN: 1350105228


Page: 400

View: 644

Writing Material Culture History examines the methodologies currently used in the historical study of material culture. Touching on archaeology, anthropology, art history and literary studies, 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 distinguished scholars from around the world.This new edition includes:* A new wide-ranging introduction highlighting the role of material culture in the modern period and presenting recent contributions to the field.* A more balanced and easy-to-use structure, including 9 methodological chapters and 20 'object in focus' chapters consisting of case studies for classroom discussion.* 5 fresh 'object in focus' chapters showing greater engagement with 20th century material culture, non-European artefacts (particularly in relation to issues of power, indigenity and repatriation of objects), architecture (with pieces on industrial heritage in Europe and on heritage destruction in China) and the definitions and limits of material culture as a discipline.* Expanded online resources to help students navigate the museums/institutions holding key artefacts.* Historiographical updates and revisions throughout the text.Focusing on the global dimension of material culture and bridging the gap between the early modern and modern periods, Writing Material Culture History is an essential tool for helping students understand the potential of objects to re-cast established historical narratives in new and exciting ways.

The Routledge Handbook of Material Culture in Early Modern EuropeThe Routledge Handbook of Material Culture in Early Modern Europe

... economic and cultural capital of local cultures'; following objects as they move across the map, or materially change as ... In the second chapter, therefore, John Sutton and Nicholas Keene argue that if we're to understand material ...

Author: Catherine Richardson

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781317042846


Page: 486

View: 848

The Routledge Handbook of Material Culture in Early Modern Europe marks the arrival of early modern material culture studies as a vibrant, fully-established field of multi-disciplinary research. The volume provides a rounded, accessible collection of work on the nature and significance of materiality in early modern Europe – a term that embraces a vast range of objects as well as addressing a wide variety of human interactions with their physical environments. This stimulating view of materiality is distinctive in asking questions about the whole material world as a context for lived experience, and the book considers material interactions at all social levels. There are 27 chapters by leading experts as well as 13 feature object studies to highlight specific items that have survived from this period (defined broadly as c.1500–c.1800). These contributions explore the things people acquired, owned, treasured, displayed and discarded, the spaces in which people used and thought about things, the social relationships which cluster around goods – between producers, vendors and consumers of various kinds – and the way knowledge travels around those circuits of connection. The content also engages with wider issues such as the relationship between public and private life, the changing connections between the sacred and the profane, or the effects of gender and social status upon lived experience. Constructed as an accessible, wide-ranging guide to research practice, the book describes and represents the methods which have been developed within various disciplines for analysing pre-modern material culture. It comprises four sections which open up the approaches of various disciplines to non-specialists: ‘Definitions, disciplines, new directions’, ‘Contexts and categories’, ‘Object studies’ and ‘Material culture in action’. This volume addresses the need for sustained, coherent comment on the state, breadth and potential of this lively new field, including the work of historians, art historians, museum curators, archaeologists, social scientists and literary scholars. It consolidates and communicates recent developments and considers how we might take forward a multi-disciplinary research agenda for the study of material culture in periods before the mass production of goods.

Understanding ReligionUnderstanding Religion

BOx 9.10 MATERIALITY: BEYOND MATERIAL CULTURE Focusing on material culture may simply change what we study, but by the term “materiality” scholars such as Daniel Miller have argued we need to more radically think about how we understand ...

Author: Paul Michael Hedges

Publisher: University of California Press

ISBN: 9780520298910


Page: 584

View: 674

A cutting-edge introduction to contemporary religious studies theory, connecting theory to data This innovative coursebook introduces students to interdisciplinary theoretical tools for understanding contemporary religiously diverse societies—both Western and non-Western. Using a case-study model, the text considers: A wide and diverse array of contemporary issues, questions, and critical approaches to the study of religion relevant to students and scholars A variety of theoretical approaches, including decolonial, feminist, hermeneutical, poststructuralist, and phenomenological analyses Current debates on whether the term "religion" is meaningful Many key issues about the study of religion, including the insider-outsider debate, material religion, and lived religion Plural and religiously diverse societies, including the theological ideas of traditions and the political and social questions that arise for those living alongside adherents of other religions Understanding Religion is designed to provide a strong foundation for instructors to explore the ideas presented in each chapter in multiple ways, engage students in meaningful activities in the classroom, and integrate additional material into their lectures. Students will gain the tools to apply specific methods from a variety of disciplines to analyze the social, political, spiritual, and cultural aspects of religions. Its unique pedagogical design means it can be used from undergraduate- to postgraduate-level courses.

The Material Culture of the JacobitesThe Material Culture of the Jacobites

Understanding Material Culture. Los Angeles and London: Sage, 2007. Woolf, Noel. The Medallic Record of the Jacobite Movement. London: Spink & Son, 1988. The Sovereign Remedy: Touch-Pieces and the King's Evil.

Author: Neil Guthrie

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781107041332


Page: 284

View: 150

Comprehensive study of material objects associated with the Jacobites, produced, acquired and treasured in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Material Cultures of Slavery and Abolition in the British CaribbeanMaterial Cultures of Slavery and Abolition in the British Caribbean

However, in studying the material lives of slaves, free people of colour and white inhabitants of the British Caribbean in the ... missionary writings provide a unique source for understanding material culture at the end of slavery, ...

Author: Christer Petley

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781315518633


Page: 154

View: 463

Material things mattered immensely to those who engaged in daily struggles over the character and future of slavery and to those who subsequently contested the meanings of freedom in the post-emancipation Caribbean. Throughout the history of slavery, objects and places were significant to different groups of people, from the opulent master class to enslaved field hands as well as to other groups, including maroons, free people of colour and missionaries, all of who shared the lived environments of Caribbean plantation colonies. By exploring the rich material world inhabited by these people, this book offers new ways of seeing history from below, of linking localised experiences with global transformations and connecting deeply personal lived realities with larger epochal events that defined the history of slavery and its abolition in the British Caribbean. This book was originally published as a special issue of Slavery & Abolition.

Interpreting ArchaeologyInterpreting Archaeology

As Thomas writes , we hear soundwaves as motorcycles or as birds and debate understanding material culture as texts . These are all pre - understandings which establish a specific vanishingpoint about which the field of our discursive ...

Author: Ian Hodder

Publisher: Psychology Press

ISBN: 0415073308


Page: 275

View: 270

Covers the ways in which material culture is understood and preserved in museums and how the nature of history is itself in flux.

Interpretive ArchaeologyInterpretive Archaeology

As Thomas writes, we hear soundwaves as motorcycles or as birds and debate understanding material culture as texts. These are all pre-understandings which establish a specific vanishing-point about which the field of our discursive ...

Author: Julian Thomas

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 9781441179296


Page: 576

View: 922

New forms of archaeology are emerging which position the discipline firmly within the social and cultural sciences. These approaches have been described as "post processual" or "interpretive" archaeology, and draw on a range of traditions of enquiry in the humanities, from Marxism and critical theory to hermeneutics, feminism, queer theory, phenomenology and post-colonial thinking. This volume gathers together a series of the canonical statements which have defined an interpretive archaeology. Many of these have been unavailable for some while, and others are drawn from inaccessible publications. In addition, a number of key articles are included which are drawn from other disciplines, but which have been influential and widely cited within archaeology. The collection is put into context by an editorial introduction and thematic notes for each section.

Faulkner and Material CultureFaulkner and Material Culture

In this way, a type of subjectivity is given to objects. Behaviors, though, can also be seen as commodities, as objectifications of valued cultural understandings of identity. Material culture studies have opened our eyes to the fact ...

Author: Joseph R. Urgo

Publisher: Univ. Press of Mississippi

ISBN: 9781628468557


Page: 178

View: 152

Photographs, lumber, airplanes, hand-hewn coffins—in every William Faulkner novel and short story worldly material abounds. The essays in Faulkner and Material Culture provide a fresh understanding of the things Faulkner brought from the world around him to the one he created. Charles S. Aiken surveys Faulkner's representation of terrain and concludes, contrary to established criticism, that to Faulkner, Yoknapatawpha was not a microcosm of the South but a very particular and quite specifically located place. Jay Watson works with literary theory, philosophy, the history of woodworking and furniture-making, and social and intellectual history to explore how Light in August is tied intimately to the region's logging and woodworking industries. Other essays in the volume include Kevin Railey's on the consumer goods that appear in Flags in the Dust. Miles Orvell discusses the Confederate Soldier monuments installed in small towns throughout the South and how such monuments enter Faulkner's work. Katherine Henninger analyzes Faulkner's fictional representation of photographs and the function of photography within his fiction, particularly in The Sound and the Fury, Light in August, and Absalom, Absalom!.

Archaeological Artefacts as Material CultureArchaeological Artefacts as Material Culture

Understanding the materials is fundamental to appreciating the choices made by people. Thus, this book has chosen to concentrate on artefact studies as material culture mediated by an emphasis on materials. There is one final definition ...

Author: Linda Hurcombe

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781136802003


Page: 368

View: 857

This book is an introduction to the study of artefacts, setting them in a social context rather than using a purely scientific approach. Drawing on a range of different cultures and extensively illustrated, Archaeological Artefacts and Material Culture covers everything from recovery strategies and recording procedures to interpretation through typology, ethnography and experiment, and every type of material including wood, fibers, bones, hides and adhesives, stone, clay, and metals. With over seventy illustrations with almost fifty in full colour, this book not only provides the tools an archaeologist will need to interpret past societies from their artefacts, but also a keen appreciation of the beauty and tactility involved in working with these fascinating objects. This is a book no archaeologist should be without, but it will also appeal to anybody interested in the interaction between people and objects.

Material Cultures in Public EngagementMaterial Cultures in Public Engagement

Still, either through traditional observation or by observation allowed by new technologies, museum curators and archaeologists, are not deprived of the ability to use their senses to experience and understand ancient material culture: ...

Author: Anastasia Christophilopoulou

Publisher: Oxbow Books

ISBN: 9781789253696


Page: 168

View: 648

The Material Cultures in Public Engagement volume seeks to document and explore the significant change in the relationship of Museums with collections of the Ancient World and their audiences. The volume establishes a new approach to the study of public archaeology as a discipline and application within Museums, by bringing together the voices and experiences of museum professionals (curators, conservators and researchers) and public engagement professionals. Chapters in this volume present clear case-studies of the variety and diversity of public engagement projects conducted currently within European Museums and beyond. While the majority of case studies presented in the volume’s chapters stem from European Museum programmes, plenty of reference is made on parallel strategies and successful public engagement programmes outside Europe (e.g. recently implemented projects by the Pointe-à-Callière Museum, Montreal, the Dallas and Cleveland Museums of Art, or the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, to name but a few). Case studies within the volume provide important insights as to why public engagement programmes have developed in different ways between Europe and the Americas, as well as whether these differences may stem from different curatorial practices. Finally, a number of studies included in this volume point out that methodologies and practices of public engagement applied currently by Museums in or outside Europe, are rarely the subject of theoretical and methodological scrutiny, unlike other fields of study of the Ancient World or other social sciences. In summary, chapters within the book promise to contribute to the advancement of public engagement with the Ancient World, as well as to the advancement of public archaeology itself as a practice.