Popular Material Culture Books

19+ [Hand Picked] Popular Books On Material Culture

Discover the list of some best books written on Material Culture by popular award winning authors. These book on topic Material Culture highly popular among the readers worldwide.

4.7/5

The Age of Homespun: Objects and Stories in the Creation of an American Myth by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Using objects that Americans have saved through the centuries and stories they have passed along, as well as histories teased from documents, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich chronicles the production of cloth--and of history--in early America. Under the singular and brilliant lens that Ulrich brings to this study, ordinary household goods--Indian baskets, spinning wheels, a chimney Using objects that Americans have saved through the centuries and stories they have passed along, as well as histories teased from documents, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich chronicles the production of cloth--and of history--in early America. Under the singular and brilliant lens that Ulrich brings to this study, ordinary household goods--Indian baskets, spinning wheels, a chimneypiece, a cupboard, a niddy-noddy, bed coverings, silk embroidery, a pocketbook, a linen tablecloth, a coverlet and a rose blanket, and an unfinished stocking--provide the key to a transformed understanding of cultural encounter, frontier war, Revolutionary politics, international commerce, and early industrialization in America. We discover how ideas about cloth and clothing affected relations between English settlers and their Algonkian neighbors. We see how an English production system based on a clear division of labor—men doing the weaving and women the spinning--broke down in the colonial setting, becoming first marginalized, then feminized, then politicized, and how the new system both prepared the way for and was sustained by machine-powered spinning. Pulling these divergent threads together into a rich and revealing tapestry of --the age of homespun,--Ulrich demonstrates how ordinary objects reveal larger economic and social structures, and, in particular, how early Americans and their descendants made, used, sold, and saved textiles in order to assert identities, shape relationships, and create history.

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3.9/5

The Refinement of America: Persons, Houses, Cities by Richard L. Bushman

This lively and authoritative volume makes clear that the quest for taste and manners in America has been essential to the serious pursuit of a democratic culture. Spanning the material world from mansions and silverware to etiquette books, city planning, and sentimental novels, Richard L. Bushman shows how a set of values originating in aristocratic court culture graduall This lively and authoritative volume makes clear that the quest for taste and manners in America has been essential to the serious pursuit of a democratic culture. Spanning the material world from mansions and silverware to etiquette books, city planning, and sentimental novels, Richard L. Bushman shows how a set of values originating in aristocratic court culture gradually permeated almost every stratum of American society and served to prevent the hardening of class consciousness. A work of immense and richly nuanced learning, The Refinement of America newly illuminates every facet of both our artifacts and our values.

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3.1/5

Stuff by Daniel Miller

Things make us just as much as we make things. And yet, unlike the study of languages or places, there is no discipline devoted to the study of material things. This book shows why it is time to acknowledge and confront this neglect and how much we can learn from focusing our attention on stuff. The book opens with a critique of the concept of superficiality as applied to c Things make us just as much as we make things. And yet, unlike the study of languages or places, there is no discipline devoted to the study of material things. This book shows why it is time to acknowledge and confront this neglect and how much we can learn from focusing our attention on stuff. The book opens with a critique of the concept of superficiality as applied to clothing. It presents the theories that are required to understand the way we are created by material as well as social relations. It takes us inside the very private worlds of our home possessions and our processes of accommodating. It considers issues of materiality in relation to the media, as well as the implications of such an approach in relation, for example, to poverty. Finally, the book considers objects which we use to define what it is to be alive and how we use objects to cope with death. Based on more than thirty years of research in the Caribbean, India, London and elsewhere, Stuff is nothing less than a manifesto for the study of material culture and a new way of looking at the objects that surround us and make up so much of our social and personal life.

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4.4/5

The Social Life of Things by Arjun Appadurai (Editor)

Contributors to this volume examine how things are sold and traded in a variety of social and cultural settings. The work strives to reveal the underlying social and political mechanisms that regulate taste, trade and desire and to demonstrate the ways people attach value to objects.

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3.3/5

In Small Things Forgotten: An Archaeology of Early American Life by James Deetz

History is recorded in many ways. According to author James Deetz, the past can be seen most fully by studying the small things so often forgotten. Objects such as doorways, gravestones, musical instruments, and even shards of pottery fill in the cracks between large historical events and depict the intricacies of daily life. In his completely revised and expanded edition History is recorded in many ways. According to author James Deetz, the past can be seen most fully by studying the small things so often forgotten. Objects such as doorways, gravestones, musical instruments, and even shards of pottery fill in the cracks between large historical events and depict the intricacies of daily life. In his completely revised and expanded edition of In Small Things Forgotten, Deetz has added new sections that more fully acknowledge the presence of women and African Americans in Colonial America. New interpretations of archaeological finds detail how minorities influenced and were affected by the development of the Anglo-American tradition in the years following the settlers' arrival in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620. Among Deetz's observations: Subtle changes in building long before the Revolutionary War hinted at the growing independence of the American colonies and their desire to be less like the British. Records of estate auctions show that many households in Colonial America contained only one chair--underscoring the patriarchal nature of the early American family. All other members of the household sat on stools or the floor. The excavation of a tiny community of freed slaves in Massachusetts reveals evidence of the transplantation of African culture to North America. Simultaneously a study of American life and an explanation of how American life is studied, In Small Things Forgotten, through the everyday details of ordinary living, colorfully depicts a world hundreds of years in the past.

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3.3/5

A New Nation of Goods: The Material Culture of Early America by David Jaffee

In the middle of the nineteenth century, middle-class Americans embraced a new culture of domestic consumption, one that centered on chairs and clocks as well as family portraits and books. How did that new world of goods, represented by Victorian parlors filled with overstuffed furniture and daguerreotype portraits, come into being? A New Nation of Goods highlights the si In the middle of the nineteenth century, middle-class Americans embraced a new culture of domestic consumption, one that centered on chairs and clocks as well as family portraits and books. How did that new world of goods, represented by Victorian parlors filled with overstuffed furniture and daguerreotype portraits, come into being? A New Nation of Goods highlights the significant role of provincial artisans in four crafts in the northeastern United States-chairmaking, clockmaking, portrait painting, and book publishing-to explain the shift from preindustrial society to an entirely new configuration of work, commodities, and culture.

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4.4/5

Death in the Dining Room and Other Tales of Victorian Culture by Kenneth L. Ames

This study of the household goods of Victorian America reveals the character, conflicts and tensions within the Victorian world. Considering specific furnishings and styles, it discusses the relationship of these objects to class and gender structure and to their place in Victorian ritual.

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4.4/5

Home Possessions: Material Culture Behind Closed Doors by Daniel Miller (Editor)

Although so much of the life we care about takes place at home, this private space often remains behind closed doors and is notoriously difficult for researchers to infiltrate. We may think it is just up to us to decorate, transform and construct our homes, but in this book we discover a new form of 'estate agency', the active participation of the home and its material cul Although so much of the life we care about takes place at home, this private space often remains behind closed doors and is notoriously difficult for researchers to infiltrate. We may think it is just up to us to decorate, transform and construct our homes, but in this book we discover a new form of 'estate agency', the active participation of the home and its material culture in the construction of our lives. What do the possessions people choose to take with them when moving say about who they are, and should we emphasize the mobility of a move or the stability of what movers take with them? How is the home an active partner in developing relationships? Why are our homes sometimes haunted by 'ghosts'?. This intriguing book is a rare behind-the-scenes exposé of the domestic sphere across a range of cultures. Examples come from working class housewives in Norway, a tribal society in Taiwan, a museum in London, tenants in Canada and students from Greece, to produce a genuinely comparative perspective based in every case on sustained fieldwork. So Japan, long thought to be a nation that idealizes uncluttered simplicity, is shown behind closed doors to harbour illicit pockets of disorganization, while the warmth inside Romanian apartments is used to expel the presence of the state. Representing a vital development in the study of material culture, this book clearly shows that we may think we possess our homes, but our homes are more likely to possess us.

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3.3/5

Material Cultures: Why Some Things Matter by Daniel Miller (Editor)

The field of material culture, while historically well established, has recently enjoyed something of a renaissance. Methods once dominated by Marxist- and commodity-oriented analyses and by the study of objects as symbols are giving way to a more ethnographic approach to artifacts. This orientation is the cornerstone of the essays presented in Material Cultures. A collect The field of material culture, while historically well established, has recently enjoyed something of a renaissance. Methods once dominated by Marxist- and commodity-oriented analyses and by the study of objects as symbols are giving way to a more ethnographic approach to artifacts. This orientation is the cornerstone of the essays presented in Material Cultures. A collection of case studies which move from the domestic sphere to the global arena, the volume includes examinations of the soundscape produced by home radios, catalog shopping, the role of paper in the workplace, and the relationship between the production and consumption of Coca-Cola in Trinidad. The diversity of the essays is mediated by their common commitment to ethnography with a material focus. Rather than examine objects as mirages of media or language, Material Cultures emphasizes how the study of objects not only contributes to an understanding of artifacts but is also an effective means for studying social values and contradictions.

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3.9/5

Handbook of Material Culture by Christopher Tilley (Editor) , Webb Keane (Editor) , Susanne Kuechler-Fogden (Editor) , Mike Rowlands (Editor) , Patricia Spyer (Editor)

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.

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3.3/5

Material Culture Studies in America: An Anthology by Thomas J. Schlereth (Editor)

The country's leading authority on use of artifactual evidence in historical research collects twenty-five classic essays and gives his overview of the field of material culture.

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4.9/5

Materiality by Daniel Miller (Editor)

Throughout history and across social and cultural contexts, most systems of belief—whether religious or secular—have ascribed wisdom to those who see reality as that which transcends the merely material. Yet, as the studies collected here show, the immaterial is not easily separated from the material. Humans are defined, to an extraordinary degree, by their expressions of Throughout history and across social and cultural contexts, most systems of belief—whether religious or secular—have ascribed wisdom to those who see reality as that which transcends the merely material. Yet, as the studies collected here show, the immaterial is not easily separated from the material. Humans are defined, to an extraordinary degree, by their expressions of immaterial ideals through material forms. The essays in Materiality explore varied manifestations of materiality from ancient times to the present. In assessing the fundamental role of materiality in shaping humanity, they signal the need to decenter the social within social anthropology in order to make room for the material. Considering topics as diverse as theology, technology, finance, and art, the contributors—most of whom are anthropologists—examine the many different ways in which materiality has been understood and the consequences of these differences. Their case studies show that the latest forms of financial trading instruments can be compared with the oldest ideals of ancient Egypt, that the promise of software can be compared with an age-old desire for an unmediated relationship to divinity. Whether focusing on the theology of Islamic banking, Australian Aboriginal art, derivatives trading in Japan, or textiles that respond directly to their environment, each essay adds depth and nuance to the project that Materiality advances: a profound acknowledgment and rethinking of one of the basic properties of being human. Contributors. Matthew Engelke, Webb Keane, Susanne Küchler, Bill Maurer, Lynn Meskell, Daniel Miller, Hirokazu Miyazaki, Fred Myers, Christopher Pinney, Michael Rowlands, Nigel Thrift

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4.5/5

Culture and Comfort: Parlor Making and Middle Class Identity by Katherine C. Grier

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4.4/5

The Meaning of Things: Domestic Symbols and the Self by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi , Eugene Rochberg-Halton

The meaning of things is a study of the significance of material possessions in contemporary urban life, and of the ways people carve meaning out of their domestic environment. Drawing on a survey of eighty families in Chicago who were interviewed on the subject of their feelings about common household objects, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Eugene Rochberg-Halton provide a u The meaning of things is a study of the significance of material possessions in contemporary urban life, and of the ways people carve meaning out of their domestic environment. Drawing on a survey of eighty families in Chicago who were interviewed on the subject of their feelings about common household objects, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Eugene Rochberg-Halton provide a unique perspective on materialism, American culture, and the self. They begin by reviewing what social scientists and philosophers have said about the transactions between people and things. In the model of 'personhood' that the authors develop, goal-directed action and the cultivation of meaning through signs assume central importance. They then relate theoretical issues to the results of their survey. An important finding is the distinction between objects valued for action and those valued for contemplation. The authors compare families who have warm emotional attachments to their homes with those in which a common set of positive meanings is lacking, and interpret the different patterns of involvement. They then trace the cultivation of meaning in case studies of four families. Finally, the authors address what they describe as the current crisis of environmental and material exploitation, and suggest that human capacities for the creation and redirection of meaning offer the only hope for survival. A wide range of scholars - urban and family sociologists, clinical, developmental and environmental psychologists, cultural anthropologists and philosophers, and many general readers - will find this book stimulating and compelling.

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4.3/5

Material Culture and Mass Consumption by Daniel Miller

Exploring materialism and social relationships in modern culture Material Culture and Mass Consumption offers an in-depth exploration of objects, objectification, ideology, and materialism in modern society. Drawing from Hegel, Marx, Munn, and Simmel, the discussion delves into the physicality of the material world and attempts to understand materialism as a form of cultura Exploring materialism and social relationships in modern culture Material Culture and Mass Consumption offers an in-depth exploration of objects, objectification, ideology, and materialism in modern society. Drawing from Hegel, Marx, Munn, and Simmel, the discussion delves into the physicality of the material world and attempts to understand materialism as a form of cultural expression. Targeting mass production as the root of mass consumption, rather than the result, this book positions material goods at odds with genuine social interaction and questions these relationships from the abstract to the intensely specific.

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4/5

Souvenir Nation: Relics, Keepsakes, and Curios from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History by William L. Bird Jr.

The objects described and pictured here are from the collection of the Division of Political History, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.

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4.3/5

The Beau Monde: Fashionable Society in Georgian London by Hannah Greig

Caricatured for extravagance, vanity, glamorous celebrity and, all too often, embroiled in scandal and gossip, 18th-century London's fashionable society had a well-deserved reputation for frivolity. But to be fashionable in 1700s London meant more than simply being well dressed. Fashion denoted membership of a new type of society - the beau monde, a world where status was Caricatured for extravagance, vanity, glamorous celebrity and, all too often, embroiled in scandal and gossip, 18th-century London's fashionable society had a well-deserved reputation for frivolity. But to be fashionable in 1700s London meant more than simply being well dressed. Fashion denoted membership of a new type of society - the beau monde, a world where status was no longer determined by coronets and countryseats alone but by the more nebulous qualification of metropolitan 'fashion'. Conspicuous consumption and display were crucial: the right address, the right dinner guests, the right possessions, the right jewels, the right seat at the opera. The Beau Monde leads us on a tour of this exciting new world, from court and parliament to London's parks, pleasure grounds, and private homes. From brash displays of diamond jewelry to the subtle complexities of political intrigue, we see how membership of the new elite was won, maintained - and sometimes lost. On the way, we meet a rich and colorful cast of characters, from the newly ennobled peer learning the ropes and the imposter trying to gain entry by means of clever fakery, to the exile banned for sexual indiscretion. Above all, as the story unfolds, we learn that being a Fashionable was about far more than simply being 'modish'. By the end of the century, it had become nothing less than the key to power and exclusivity in a changed world.

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4.4/5

The White Road: Journey into an Obsession by Edmund de Waal

Extraordinary new non-fiction, a gripping blend of history and memoir, by the author of the award-winning and bestselling international sensation, 'The Hare with Amber Eyes'. In 'The White Road', bestselling author and artist Edmund de Waal gives us an intimate narrative history of his lifelong obsession with porcelain, or "white gold." A potter who has been working with po Extraordinary new non-fiction, a gripping blend of history and memoir, by the author of the award-winning and bestselling international sensation, 'The Hare with Amber Eyes'. In 'The White Road', bestselling author and artist Edmund de Waal gives us an intimate narrative history of his lifelong obsession with porcelain, or "white gold." A potter who has been working with porcelain for more than forty years, de Waal describes how he set out on five journeys to places where porcelain was dreamed about, refined, collected and coveted - and that would help him understand the clay's mysterious allure. From his studio in London, he starts by travelling to three "white hills" - sites in China, Germany and England that are key to porcelain's creation. But his search eventually takes him around the globe and reveals more than a history of cups and figurines; rather, he is forced to confront some of the darkest moments of twentieth-century history. Part memoir, part history, part detective story, 'The White Road' chronicles a global obsession with alchemy, art, wealth, craft and purity. In a sweeping yet intimate style that recalls 'The Hare with Amber Eyes', de Waal gives us a singular understanding of "the spectrum of porcelain" and the mapping of desire.

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3.2/5

A History of Boston in 50 Artifacts by Joseph M. Bagley

History is right under our feet; we just need to dig a little to find it. Though not the most popular construction project, Boston’s Big Dig has contributed more to our understanding and appreciation of the city’s archaeological history than any other recent event. Joseph M. Bagley, city archaeologist of Boston, uncovers a fascinating hodgepodge of history—from ancient fis History is right under our feet; we just need to dig a little to find it. Though not the most popular construction project, Boston’s Big Dig has contributed more to our understanding and appreciation of the city’s archaeological history than any other recent event. Joseph M. Bagley, city archaeologist of Boston, uncovers a fascinating hodgepodge of history—from ancient fishing grounds to Jazz Age red-light districts—that will surprise and delight even longtime residents. Each artifact is shown in full color and accompanied by description of the item’s significance to its site location and the larger history of the city. From cannonballs to drinking cups and from ancient spears to chinaware, A History of Boston in 50 Artifacts offers a unique and accessible introduction to Boston’s history and physical culture while revealing the ways objects can offer a tantalizing entrée into our past. Packed with vivid descriptions and art, this lively history of Boston will appeal to all manner of readers, locals and visitors alike.

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