Understanding Material Culture

Author : Woodward, Ian

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    Summary Focusing on the material as culture from newer perspectives applied to contemporary consumption, Woodward (cultural sociology, Griffith U., Australia) surveys diverse approaches (e.g., sociological, psychological, marketing, cross-disciplinary) to studying people-object relations as a lens on the values of modern consumer society. Case studies (e.g., of homes, objects in youth subcultures) illustrate basic premises of objects as markers of identity and cultural-political power. Objects of consumption are viewed as having "social lives" as part of social performance. Classic and modern theoretical approaches discussed include Marxist views of the role of commodities, structuralist models, and aesthetics. Chapters include annotated suggested reading. Annotation �2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com) Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.


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