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What Objects Mean : An Introduction to Material Culture - Arthur Asa Berger

What Objects Mean

An Introduction to Material Culture


Published: 1st June 2014
RRP $58.99

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Published: 16th June 2016
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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.

Comments on the first edition: "Berger s book takes a complex and nuanced topicthe study of material cultureand pares it down to a manageable first approach.... Overall, the book presents a basic survey of several important theories and scholars that students should become familiar with when beginning to study material culture, and demonstrates a useful structure for a course syllabus." Journal of Folklore Research"

  • 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: Kula Objects
  • Chapter 9: Style: Blue Jeans
  • Chapter 10: Technology: Smartphone
  • Chapter 11: Globalization: Coca-Cola
  • Chapter 12: Identity: Blonde Hair Dye
  • Chapter 13: Transformations: Books
  • Chapter 14: Reality: Facebook
  • Chapter 15: Shape: Milk Cartons
  • Chapter 16: Diffusion: Bagels
  • Chapter 17: Narratives: Manga
  • Chapter 18: Nationalism: American Flag
  • Part III: Material Culture Games
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • About the Author

ISBN: 9781611329049
ISBN-10: 1611329043
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 272
Published: 1st June 2014
Publisher: Left Coast Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.1 x 16.4  x 1.7
Weight (kg): 0.42
Edition Number: 2
Edition Type: Revised