Stuff

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Polity, 2010 - Social Science - 169 pages
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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.

 

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User Review  - jonas.lowgren - LibraryThing

One of the keys to interaction design is obviously to understand use. I am not an expert in the general field of material culture, but it seems that it doesn't alway move close enough to the specifics ... Read full review

Contents

My Life as an Extremist
1
Why Clothing is not Superficial
12
Theories of Things
42
Houses Accommodating Theory
79
Media Immaterial Culture and Applied Anthropology
110
Matter of Life and Death
135
Notes
157
Index
165
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About the author (2010)

Daniel Miller is Professor of Anthropology at University College London and one of the leading anthropologists in the world today. His particular interest is in the study of material culture.

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