The study of material culture is concerned with the relationship between persons and things in the past and in the present, in urban and industrialized and in small-scale societies across the globe. The Handbook of Material Culture provides a critical survey of the theories, concepts, intellectual debates, substantive domains, and traditions of study characterizing the analysis of "things." This cutting-edge work examines the current state of material culture as well as how this field of study may be extended and developed in the future.
The Handbook of Material Culture is divided into five sections:
- Section I maps material culture studies as a theoretical and conceptual field.
- Section II examines the relationship between material forms, the human body and the senses.
- Section III focuses on subject-object relations.
- Section IV considers things in terms of processes and transformations in terms of production, exchange and consumption, performance and the significance of things over the long-term.
- Section V considers the contemporary politics and poetics of displaying, representing and conserving material and the manner in which this impacts on notions of heritage, tradition and identity.
The Handbook charts an interdisciplinary field of studies that makes a unique and fundamental contribution to an understanding of what it means to be human. It will be of interest to all who work in the social and historical sciences, from anthropologists and archaeologists to human geographers to scholars working in heritage, design and cultural studies.