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- DescriptionIt is little wonder that relationships between things and humans are front-and-center in the contemporary social sciences, given the presence of techlogies in every conceivable aspect of our lives. From Bru Latour to Ian Hodder, anthropologists and archaeologists are embracing thing theory and the ontological turn. In Practicing Materiality, Ruth M. Van Dyke cautions that as anthropologists turn toward animals and things, they run the risk of turning away from people and intentional actions. Practicing Materiality focuses on the practical job of applying materiality to anthropological investigations, but with the firm retention of anthropocentrism. The philosophical discussions that run through the nine chapters develop practical applications for material studies, including Heideggerian phemelogy, Gellian secondary agency, object life histories, and bundling. Seven case studies are flanked by an introduction and a discussion chapter. The case studies represent a wide range of archaeological and anthropological contexts, from contemporary New York City and Turkey to fifteenth-century Portugal, the ancient southwest United States, and the ancient Andes. Authors in every chapter argue for the rejection of subject/object dualism, regarding material things as actively involved in the negotiation of power within human social relationships. Practicing Materiality demonstrates that it is possible to focus on the entangled lives of things without losing sight of their political and social implications.
- Author BiographyRuth M. Van Dyke is a professor of anthropology at Binghamton University, USA where she researches archaeology of the indigenous southwest United States, power, ideology, social memory, phenomenology, and materiality, as well as landscape, architecture, place, and space. She is the author of The Chaco Experience: Landscape and Ideology at the Center Place.
- PublisherUniversity of Arizona Press
- Date of Publication30/11/2015
- SubjectSocial Studies: General
- Place of PublicationTucson
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintUniversity of Arizona Press
- Content Note11 halftones, 11 line drawings, 1 chart, 2 tables
- Weight525 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine15 mm
- Edited byRuth M. Van Dyke
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