2nd Edition

What Objects Mean
An Introduction to Material Culture

ISBN 9781611329049
Published June 1, 2014 by Routledge
272 Pages

USD $44.95

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Book Description

Arthur Asa Berger, author of an array of texts in communication, popular culture, and social theory, is back with the second edition of his popular, user-friendly guide for students who want to understand the social meanings of objects. In this broadly interdisciplinary text, Berger takes the reader through half a dozen theoretical models that are commonly used to analyze objects. He then describes and analyzes eleven objects, many of them new to this edition—including smartphones, Facebook, hair dye, and the American flag—showing how they demonstrate concepts like globalization, identity, and nationalism. The book includes a series of exercises that allow students to analyse objects in their own environment. Brief and inexpensive, this introductory guide will be used in courses ranging from anthropology to art history, pop culture to psychology.

Table of Contents

Part I: Theoretical Approaches to Material Culture
Chapter 1: Making Sense of Material Culture
Chapter 2: A Freudian Psychoanalytic Approach
Chapter 3: Semiotic Approaches to Material Culture
Chapter 4: Sociological Analysis of Material Culture
Chapter 5: Economic Theory, Marxism, and Material Culture
Chapter 6: Cultural Theory and Material Culture
Chapter 7: Archaeological Theory and Material Culture
Part II: Applications
Chapter 8: Exchange
Chapter 9: Style
Chapter 10: Technology
Chapter 11: Globalization
Chapter 12: Identity
Chapter 13: Transformations
Chapter 14: Sociability
Chapter 15: Shape
Chapter 16: Diffusion
Chapter 17: Narratives
Chapter 18: Nationalism
Part III: Material Culture Games
The Artifacts Inventory Game
The Time Capsule Game
Disciplinary Perspectives on Objects
The Grid-Group Theory and Objects Game
The Objects and Personal Identity Game

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