MATERIAL AGENCY

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Material Agency

Author : Carl Knappett
ISBN : 0387747117
Genre : Science
File Size : 62.99 MB
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Thus far an ‘agent’ in the social sciences has always meant someone whose actions bring about change. In this volume, the editors challenge this position and examine the possibility that agency is not a solely human property. Instead, this collection of archaeologists, anthropologists, sociologists and other social scientists explores the symbiotic relationships between humans and material entities (a key opening a door, a speed bump raising a car) as they engage with one another.
Category: Science

Urban Ecologies

Author : Christopher Schliephake
ISBN : 9780739195765
Genre : Nature
File Size : 72.10 MB
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The term “urban ecology” has become a buzzword in various disciplines, including the social and natural sciences as well as urban planning and architecture. The environmental humanities have been slow to adapt to current theoretical debates, often excluding human-built environments from their respective frameworks. This book closes this gap both in theory and in practice, bringing together “urban ecology” with ecocritical and cultural ecological approaches by conceptualizing the city as an integral part of the environment and as a space in which ecological problems manifest concretely. Arguing that culture has to be seen as an active component and integral factor within urban ecologies, it makes use of a metaphorical use of the term, perceiving cities as spatial phenomena that do not only have manifold and complex material interrelations with their respective (natural) environments, but that are intrinsically connected to the ideas, imaginations, and interpretations that make up the cultural symbolic and discursive side of our urban lives and that are stored and constantly renegotiated in their cultural and artistic representations. The city is, within this framework, both seen as an ecosystemically organized space as well as a cultural artifact. Thus, the urban ecology outlined in this study takes its main impetus from an analysis of examples taken from contemporary culture that deal with urban life and the complex interrelations between urban communities and their (natural and built) environments.
Category: Nature

The Oxford Handbook Of Material Culture Studies

Author : Dan Hicks
ISBN : 9780199218714
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 31.15 MB
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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.
Category: Social Science

The Agency Of Things In Medieval And Early Modern Art

Author : Gra?yna Jurkowlaniec
ISBN : 9781351681490
Genre : Art
File Size : 22.6 MB
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This volume explores the late medieval and early modern periods from the perspective of objects. While the agency of things has been studied in anthropology and archaeology, it is an innovative approach for art historical investigations. Each contributor takes as a point of departure active things: objects that were collected, exchanged, held in hand, carried on a body, assembled, cared for or pawned. Through a series of case studies set in various geographic locations, this volume examines a rich variety of systems throughout Europe and beyond.
Category: Art

Unpacking The Collection

Author : Sarah Byrne
ISBN : 1441982221
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 45.49 MB
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Museum collections are often perceived as static entities hidden away in storerooms or trapped behind glass cases. By focusing on the dynamic histories of museum collections, new research reveals their pivotal role in shaping a wide range of social relations. Over time and across space the interactions between these artefacts and the people and institutions who made, traded, collected, researched and exhibited them have generated complex networks of material and social agency. In this innovative volume, the contributors draw on a broad range of source materials to explore the cross-cultural interactions which have created museum collections. These case studies contribute significantly to the development of new theoretical frameworks to examine broader questions of materiality, agency, and identity in the past and present. Grounded in case studies from individual objects and museum collections from North America, Europe, Africa, the Pacific Islands, and Australia, this truly international volume juxtaposes historical, geographical, and cross-cultural studies. This work will be of great interest to archaeologists and anthropologists studying material culture, as well as researchers in museum studies and cultural heritage management.
Category: Social Science

Agency

Author :
ISBN : 9024731399
Genre : Law
File Size : 53.14 MB
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The Academy is a prestigious international institution for the study and teaching of Public and Private International Law and related subjects. The work of the Hague Academy receives the support and recognition of the UN. Its purpose is to encourage a thorough and impartial examination of the problems arising from international relations in the field of law. The courses deal with the theoretical and practical aspects of the subject, including legislation and case law. All courses at the Academy are, in principle, published in the language in which they were delivered in the "Collected Courses of the Hague Academy of International Law .
Category: Law

Human Agency And Material Welfare Revisions In Microeconomics And Their Implications For Public Policy

Author : Morris Altman
ISBN : 9781461563037
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 40.91 MB
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Some of the fundamental tenets of conventional economic wisdom, which have had a profound impact on public policy, are challenged in this book. These precepts include the affirmation that low wages are more beneficial that high wages to the process of growth and development; convergence in terms of output per person is just a matter of time; minimum wage laws and trade unions negatively impact on the economy as a whole; pay inequality due to labor market discrimination cannot persist over time; larger firms are typically more efficient than smaller firms; and culture is of little consequence to the course of economic development. Such predictions, the author argues, are a product of unrealistic behavioral assumptions about the economic agent. In this book, the author offers a more inclusive theoretical framework and a more reasonable modeling of the economic agent. This new approach is built upon conventional neoclassical theory while incorporating the most recent research in behavioral economics. The case is made that individuals have some choice over the quantity and quality of effort which they can supply in the process of production. Even under the constraints of severe product market competition and the assumption of `utility maximizing' individuals, effort need not be maximized, especially in firms characterized by antagonistic management-labor relations. This is especially true when relatively inefficient firms can remain competitive by keeping wages relatively low - low wages serve to protect such firms from more efficient firms. Alternatively, relatively high wage firms can remain competitive only if they become more productive. Under these assumptions, higher wages and factors contributing to higher wages can advance the performance of an economy while lower wages can have the opposite effect and cultural and institutional variables, by themselves, can affect the long run productivity and even the long run competitiveness of firms and economies. In summary, this book calls for a revised approach to the study of economics from a behavioral and socio-economic perspective, with significant consequences for public policy.
Category: Business & Economics

The Early Mediterranean Village

Author : John Robb
ISBN : 9781139463782
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 21.91 MB
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What was daily life like in Italy between 6000 and 3500 BC? In this book, first published in 2007, John Robb brings together the archaeological evidence on a wide range of aspects of life in Neolithic Italy and surrounding regions (Sicily and Malta). Exploring how the routines of daily life structured social relations and human experience during this period, Robb provides a detailed analysis of how people built houses, buried their dead, made and shared a distinctive cuisine, and made the pots and stone tools that archaeologists find. He also addresses questions of regional variation and long-term change, showing how the sweeping changes at the end of the Neolithic were rooted in and transformed the daily practices of earlier periods. Robb links the agency of daily life and the reproduction of social relations with long-term patterns in European prehistory.
Category: Social Science

The Mangle Of Practice

Author : Andrew Pickering
ISBN : 9780226668253
Genre : Science
File Size : 71.31 MB
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This ambitious book by one of the most original and provocative thinkers in science studies offers a sophisticated new understanding of the nature of scientific, mathematical, and engineering practice and the production of scientific knowledge. Andrew Pickering offers a new approach to the unpredictable nature of change in science, taking into account the extraordinary number of factors—social, technological, conceptual, and natural—that interact to affect the creation of scientific knowledge. In his view, machines, instruments, facts, theories, conceptual and mathematical structures, disciplined practices, and human beings are in constantly shifting relationships with one another—"mangled" together in unforeseeable ways that are shaped by the contingencies of culture, time, and place. Situating material as well as human agency in their larger cultural context, Pickering uses case studies to show how this picture of the open, changeable nature of science advances a richer understanding of scientific work both past and present. Pickering examines in detail the building of the bubble chamber in particle physics, the search for the quark, the construction of the quarternion system in mathematics, and the introduction of computer-controlled machine tools in industry. He uses these examples to address the most basic elements of scientific practice—the development of experimental apparatus, the production of facts, the development of theory, and the interrelation of machines and social organization.
Category: Science

Art And Agency

Author : Alfred Gell
ISBN : 9780191037450
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 50.11 MB
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Alfred Gell puts forward a new anthropological theory of visual art, seen as a form of instrumental action: the making of things as a means of influencing the thoughts and actions of others. He argues that existing anthropological and aesthetic theories take an overwhelmingly passive point of view, and questions the criteria that accord art status only to a certain class of objects and not to others. The anthropology of art is here reformulated as the anthropology of a category of action: Gell shows how art objects embody complex intentionalities and mediate social agency. He explores the psychology of patterns and perceptions, art and personhood, the control of knowledge, and the interpretation of meaning, drawing upon a diversity of artistic traditions—European, Indian, Polynesian, Melanesian, and Australian. Art and Agency was completed just before Alfred Gell's death at the age of 51 in January 1997. It embodies the intellectual bravura, lively wit, vigour, and erudition for which he was admired, and will stand as an enduring testament to one of the most gifted anthropologists of his generation.
Category: Social Science