THE SOCIAL LIFE OF THINGS COMMODITIES IN CULTURAL PERSPECTIVE CAMBRIDGE STUDIES IN SOCIAL AND CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY

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The Social Life Of Things

Author : Arjun Appadurai
ISBN : 0521357268
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 87.72 MB
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The contributors to this volume examine how things are sold and traded in a variety of social and cultural settings, both present and past. Bridging the disciplines of social history, cultural anthropology, and economics, the volume marks a major step in our understanding of the cultural basis of economic life and the sociology of culture.
Category: Political Science

Rhetoric Social Value And The Arts

Author : Charlotte Bonham-Carter
ISBN : 9783319452975
Genre : Art
File Size : 23.13 MB
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The book reveals how the ‘social value of art’ may have one meaning for a policy maker, another for a museum and still yet another for an artist – and it is therefore in the interaction between these agents that we learn the most about the importance of rhetoric and interpretation. As a trajectory in art history, socially engaged art has a long and established history. However, in recent years—or since ‘the social turn’ that occurred in the 1990s—the rhetoric surrounding the social value of art has been assimilated by cultural policy makers and museums. Interdisciplinary in its approach, and bringing together contributions from artists, curators and academics, the volume explores rhetoric, social value and the arts within different social, political and cultural contexts.
Category: Art

Materiality

Author : Daniel Miller
ISBN : 9780822386711
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 39.24 MB
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Throughout history and across social and cultural contexts, most systems of belief—whether religious or secular—have ascribed wisdom to those who see reality as that which transcends the merely material. Yet, as the studies collected here show, the immaterial is not easily separated from the material. Humans are defined, to an extraordinary degree, by their expressions of immaterial ideals through material forms. The essays in Materiality explore varied manifestations of materiality from ancient times to the present. In assessing the fundamental role of materiality in shaping humanity, they signal the need to decenter the social within social anthropology in order to make room for the material. Considering topics as diverse as theology, technology, finance, and art, the contributors—most of whom are anthropologists—examine the many different ways in which materiality has been understood and the consequences of these differences. Their case studies show that the latest forms of financial trading instruments can be compared with the oldest ideals of ancient Egypt, that the promise of software can be compared with an age-old desire for an unmediated relationship to divinity. Whether focusing on the theology of Islamic banking, Australian Aboriginal art, derivatives trading in Japan, or textiles that respond directly to their environment, each essay adds depth and nuance to the project that Materiality advances: a profound acknowledgment and rethinking of one of the basic properties of being human. Contributors. Matthew Engelke, Webb Keane, Susanne Küchler, Bill Maurer, Lynn Meskell, Daniel Miller, Hirokazu Miyazaki, Fred Myers, Christopher Pinney, Michael Rowlands, Nigel Thrift
Category: Social Science

Stuff

Author : Daniel Miller
ISBN : 9780745654966
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 25.10 MB
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Things make us just as much as we make things. And yet, unlike the study of languages or places, there is no discipline devoted to the study of material things. This book shows why it is time to acknowledge and confront this neglect and how much we can learn from focusing our attention on stuff. The book opens with a critique of the concept of superficiality as applied to clothing. It presents the theories that are required to understand the way we are created by material as well as social relations. It takes us inside the very private worlds of our home possessions and our processes of accommodating. It considers issues of materiality in relation to the media, as well as the implications of such an approach in relation, for example, to poverty. Finally, the book considers objects which we use to define what it is to be alive and how we use objects to cope with death. Based on more than thirty years of research in the Caribbean, India, London and elsewhere, Stuff is nothing less than a manifesto for the study of material culture and a new way of looking at the objects that surround us and make up so much of our social and personal life.
Category: Social Science

Encyclopedia Of Social And Cultural Anthropology

Author : Alan Barnard
ISBN : 9781135236410
Genre : Reference
File Size : 32.46 MB
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Written by leading scholars in the field, this comprehensive and readable resource gives anthropology students a unique guide to the ideas, arguments and history of the discipline. The fully revised and expanded second edition reflects major changes in anthropology in the past decade.
Category: Reference

Everyday Products In The Middle Ages

Author : Gitte Hansen
ISBN : 9781782978053
Genre : History
File Size : 31.83 MB
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The medieval marketplace is a familiar setting in popular and academic accounts of the Middle Ages, but we actually know very little about the people involved in the transactions that took place there, how their lives were influenced by those transactions, or about the complex networks of individuals whose actions allowed raw materials to be extracted, hewn into objects, stored and ultimately shipped for market. Twenty diverse case studies combine leading edge techniques and novel theoretical approaches to illuminate the identities and lives of these much overlooked ordinary people, painting of a number of detailed portraits to explore the worlds of actors involved in the lives of everyday products - objects of bone, leather, stone, ceramics, and base metal - and their production and use in medieval northern Europe. In so doing, this book seeks to draw attention away from the emergent trend to return to systems and global models, and restore to centre stage what should be the archaeologists most important concern: the people of the past.
Category: History

Material Cultures

Author : Daniel Miller
ISBN : 9781135361631
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 37.30 MB
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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.
Category: Social Science

The Social Construction Of Technological Systems

Author : Wiebe E. Bijker
ISBN : 9780262300872
Genre : Technology & Engineering
File Size : 41.19 MB
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This pioneering book, first published in 1987, launched the new field of social studies of technology. It introduced a method of inquiry--social construction of technology, or SCOT--that became a key part of the wider discipline of science and technology studies. The book helped the MIT Press shape its STS list and inspired the Inside Technology series. The thirteen essays in the book tell stories about such varied technologies as thirteenth-century galleys, eighteenth-century cooking stoves, and twentieth-century missile systems. Taken together, they affirm the fruitfulness of an approach to the study of technology that gives equal weight to technical, social, economic, and political questions, and they demonstrate the illuminating effects of the integration of empirics and theory. The approaches in this volume--collectively called SCOT (after the volume's title) have since broadened their scope, and twenty-five years after the publication of this book, it is difficult to think of a technology that has not been studied from a SCOT perspective and impossible to think of a technology that cannot be studied that way.
Category: Technology & Engineering

Simmel On Culture

Author : Georg Simmel
ISBN : 0803986521
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 73.3 MB
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The German sociologist and philosopher Georg Simmel (1858-1918) is recognized as a leading early twentieth-century European social theorist. This collection enables the reader to engage with the full range of Simmel's dazzling contributions to the study of culture. It opens with Simmel's basic essays on defining culture, its changes and its crisis. These are followed by more specific explorations of: the culture of face-to-face interactions; spatial and urban culture; leisure culture; the culture of money and commodities; the culture of belief; and the politics of female culture.
Category: Social Science

The Comfort Of Things

Author : Daniel Miller
ISBN : 9780745655369
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 35.79 MB
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What do we know about ordinary people in our towns and cities, about what really matters to them and how they organize their lives today? This book visits an ordinary street and looks into thirty households. It reveals the aspirations and frustrations, the tragedies and accomplishments that are played out behind the doors. It focuses on the things that matter to these people, which quite often turn out to be material things – their house, the dog, their music, the Christmas decorations. These are the means by which they express who they have become, and relationships to objects turn out to be central to their relationships with other people – children, lovers, brothers and friends. If this is a typical street in a modern city like London, then what kind of society is this? It’s not a community, nor a neighbourhood, nor is it a collection of isolated individuals. It isn’t dominated by the family. We assume that social life is corrupted by materialism, made superficial and individualistic by a surfeit of consumer goods, but this is misleading. If the street isn’t any of these things, then what is it? This brilliant and revealing portrayal of a street in modern London, written by one the most prominent anthropologists, shows how much is to be gained when we stop lamenting what we think we used to be and focus instead on what we are now becoming. It reveals the forms by which ordinary people make sense of their lives, and the ways in which objects become our companions in the daily struggle to make life meaningful.
Category: Social Science