The study of material culture demonstrates that objects make people just as much as people make, exchange and consume objects. But what if these objects are, in the eyes of others, only fakes? What kind of material mirror are people looking into? Are their real selves really reflected in this mirror? This book provides an original and revealing study into engagements with objects that are not what they are claimed and presumed to be and, subsequently, are believed to betray their makers as well as users. Drawing upon an ethnography of fake branded garments in Turkey and Romania, Material Culture and Authenticity shows how people can make authentic positions for themselves in and through fake objects.The book will be of interest to students and scholars working in the fields of anthropology, material culture and cultural studies as well as to general readers interested in ethnographic alternatives to biographies of famous fakers and fakes.
Table of Contents
IntroductionInauthentic ObjectsThe Elusive Nature of Inauthenticity: Manufacture and Trade in Fake Branded Garments in TurkeyThe Elusive Nature of Inauthenticity: Trade and Consumption of Fake Branded Inauthentic Objects, Authentic SelvesConclusionBibliographyIndex
Magdalena Craciun is Research Fellow, University of Pardubice, the Czech Republic.
"Craciun’s research provides an evocative account of how people struggle to negotiate authenticity in a world of inauthentic objects, namely fake branded goods. Through a nuanced and engaging ethnography, the book makes an extremely important contribution to the literature on authenticity and material culture. It will be essential reading for those interested in the experience of authenticity and it’s role in mediating personal relationships and identities. - Sian Jones, Professor of Archaeology, University of Manchester, UK In this rich ethnography of the markets and small textiles manufacturers of Turkey and Rumania, Craciun constructs an alternative theory of brands, arguing that the materiality of branded goods - their shininess, smoothness; their pattern, cut, trimming and bobbling - are more important than the brand itself. A must read for anyone interested in thinking critically about the contemporary theorization of brands, authenticity, consumption, and materiality. - Haidy Geismar, Anthropology and Museum Studies, New York University & Department of Anthropology, University College London Magdalena Craciun’s Material Culture and Authenticity: Fake Branded Fashion in Europe makes for entertaining and meaningful reading … a valuable addition to the field of material culture and a welcome contribution to Romanian studies. Drawing on nine months of fieldwork in Istanbul, Bucharest, and a small provincial town in southern Romania, Craciun has published one of the few genuinely multi-sited ethnographies of Romania. Highly informative, ethnographically sensitive, and theoretically sophisticated, this book is indispensable reading for the emerging anthropology in and of Romania. - H-Net - Narcis Tulbure"