Materiality and Society by Tim Dant

By Tim Dant

The normal method of tradition specializes in the symbolic meanings of gadgets instead of the influence that those gadgets have on modern lifestyles. utilizing the automobile as a routine subject matter, Tim Dant demanding situations the well-established concept that intake is the primary dating with “things” in our lives and argues that it's via fabric interplay with the items round us that we confront our society.

Drawing on, and debating with, old, philosophical, and theoretical discourses that tackle materiality, this ebook is of curiosity to scholars and researchers in numerous disciplines, together with sociology, anthropology, cultural stories, and know-how studies.

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His interest is in how material life underpins economic relations rather than social relations, although Roche explains that the group of French historians surrounding the journal Annales – Lucien Febvre, Robert Mandrou, Guy Thuillier and Fernand Braudel – used the theme of everyday material life to develop earlier historians’ understanding of the process of civilization (Roche 2000: 3–5). The Annales historians questioned the economists’ model of homo oeconomicus and instead adopted anthropological methods to observe the individual BL2093 ch 02 26/10/2004 8:12 PM Page 31 MATERIAL CIVILIZATION 31 and collective practices and actions of ordinary people in order to understand civilization.

But further, it will be linked to the occasion, the social event that the meal recognizes. The plate that is appropriate for a ceremonial meal or a family occasion may well be different from the one we feel comfortable with for a picnic or a TV dinner. While social status may always be an issue in consuming for use and enjoyment, emotional, practical and other cultural factors both inform and shape our choices. Whatever the range of factors that bear on our choices, what is central is what we actually do; what plate we use and what practices it entails (polish it, put it in the dishwasher or throw it in the bin).

Grooming rituals’ – the cleaning and maintenance of objects such as the car) and erase meaning (‘divestment rituals’ – redecorating a house to divest traces of the previous owners). But his discussion of interaction with material objects and with their significance in material civilization is restricted to their symbolic value which, as is the case with most commentators on consumption, is simply to do with social status. The complexity of material life is not explored even in this context; is there any possibility of intrinsic pleasure to be derived from contact with these objects?

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