Understanding Material Culture

ISBN-10: 0761942262
ISBN-13: 9780761942269
Edition: 2007
Authors: Ian Woodward
List price: $54.00
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Description: 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  More...

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Book details

List price: $54.00
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: SAGE Publications, Limited
Publication date: 5/29/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 200
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.946
Language: English

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 - to evaluate the frameworks for approaching the material world; " 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: social status, identity, social performance and narrativization; " 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.

Locating Material Culture
The Material as Culture
Definitions, Perspectives, Approaches
Studying Material Culture
Origins and Premises
Theoretical Approaches to Studying Material Culture
The Deceptive, Suspicious Object
Marxist and Critical Approaches
The Object as Symbolic Code
Structural and Semiotic Approaches
The Material Representing the Cultural Universe
Objects, Symbols and Cultural Categories
Objects in Action
Objects and Distinction
The Aesthetic Field and Expressive Materiality
Material Culture and Identity
Objects and the Self
Material Culture, Narratives, and Social Performance
Objects in Contexts
Conclusion
Conclusion:
Objects and Meaning in Consumer Culture

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