SOCI/ANTH 441 Material Culture Week 3: Social Theory

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SOCI/ANTH 441 Material Culture Week 3: Social Theory

  1. 1. Week 3 — Social Theory SOCI/ANTH 441 Material Culture Alexandre Enkerli September 17, 2008
  2. 2. Today <ul><li>Project talk </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Logistics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work with Objects </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Themes in material culture </li></ul><ul><li>Theory Tasters </li></ul>
  3. 3. Project Logistics <ul><li>Part I due October 1 </li></ul><ul><li>Can do “prewrite” by September 24 </li></ul><ul><li>Find thing </li></ul><ul><li>Start work on </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Description </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Literature </li></ul></ul>
  4. 5. What is it? <ul><li>What is it called? </li></ul><ul><li>What is it made of? </li></ul><ul><li>How are intrinsic elements integrated? </li></ul><ul><li>What is it related to? </li></ul><ul><li>What is its history? </li></ul><ul><li>What is its future? </li></ul>
  5. 6. What does it do? <ul><li>What are its effects on the world? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Material, physical, biological effects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Psychological, emotional effects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social effects </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How does it function? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Relationship between parts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Intended uses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unintended uses </li></ul></ul>
  6. 7. What does it mean? <ul><li>To subject </li></ul><ul><li>In group </li></ul><ul><li>In cultural context </li></ul>
  7. 9. Diachrony <ul><li>History </li></ul><ul><li>Story </li></ul><ul><li>Genealogy </li></ul><ul><li>Biography </li></ul><ul><li>Transformation </li></ul><ul><li>Shaping </li></ul><ul><li>Dynamic </li></ul>
  8. 10. Ethnography <ul><li>Cultural diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Tradition </li></ul><ul><li>Purity </li></ul><ul><li>Trash </li></ul><ul><li>Representation </li></ul>
  9. 11. Daily Life <ul><li>Public/private dichotomy </li></ul><ul><li>Domesticity </li></ul><ul><li>Use of objects </li></ul><ul><li>Ritualization </li></ul><ul><li>Sacred/profane </li></ul>
  10. 12. Marxian <ul><li>Means of Production </li></ul><ul><li>Consumption </li></ul><ul><li>Globalization </li></ul><ul><li>Commodification </li></ul><ul><li>Materialism </li></ul><ul><li>Environmentalism </li></ul><ul><li>Gift economy </li></ul>
  11. 13. Status and Inequality <ul><li>Gender </li></ul><ul><li>Age </li></ul><ul><li>Class </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnicity </li></ul>
  12. 14. Rights <ul><li>Property rights </li></ul><ul><li>Intellectual property </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural heritage </li></ul><ul><li>Appropriation </li></ul>
  13. 15. Sociology of Technology <ul><li>Technology adoption </li></ul><ul><li>Shaping </li></ul><ul><li>Science </li></ul><ul><li>Engineering </li></ul><ul><li>Industrialization </li></ul><ul><li>Postmodernism </li></ul>
  14. 16. Subjectivity <ul><li>Embodiment </li></ul><ul><li>Agency </li></ul><ul><li>Aesthetics </li></ul><ul><li>Personalization/customization </li></ul><ul><li>Value </li></ul><ul><li>Fetishism </li></ul>
  15. 18. Themes from Texts?
  16. 19. Theories <ul><li>Not stuck on detail </li></ul><ul><li>Named or not </li></ul><ul><li>Material culture classics </li></ul><ul><li>Adapt frameworks </li></ul><ul><li>All related </li></ul>
  17. 20. ANT and SI <ul><li>Constructivism (non-essentialism) </li></ul><ul><li>Post-modernism and post-structuralism </li></ul><ul><li>Architecture </li></ul><ul><li>Human+Non-human </li></ul><ul><li>Agency </li></ul>
  18. 21. Non-Human Agency <ul><li>Projection of anthropomorphism (2-sided) </li></ul><ul><li>Machines' rights (Hofstadter) </li></ul><ul><li>Anthropocentrism </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Human specificity </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Anima </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Animals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Animism </li></ul></ul>
  19. 22. Latour Style <ul><li>Humour, playfulness </li></ul><ul><li>Philosophical </li></ul><ul><li>Tour de force </li></ul><ul><li>Neither prevent nor advise in project </li></ul>
  20. 23. Latour Terms <ul><li>Scene (people and things) </li></ul><ul><li>Delegation (give over) </li></ul><ul><li>Prescription (order for action: goal and modification) </li></ul><ul><li>Subscription (conform) </li></ul><ul><li>De-inscription (deviate) </li></ul><ul><li>Obligatory Passage Point (what has to occur) </li></ul><ul><li>Pre-inscription (everything upstream) </li></ul>
  21. 24. ANT Links <ul><li>http://www.istheory.yorku.ca/actornetworktheory.htm </li></ul><ul><li>http://carbon.cudenver.edu/~mryder/itc_data/ant_dff.html </li></ul><ul><li>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Actor-network_theory </li></ul>
  22. 25. Tech World <ul><li>Forced adoption </li></ul><ul><li>Luddites </li></ul><ul><li>Losing jobs to robots </li></ul><ul><li>Marrying robots in 50 years ? </li></ul><ul><li>Technological singularity </li></ul>
  23. 26. Science Culture <ul><li>Geek culture </li></ul><ul><li>AI </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hello world </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Turing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Biological machines </li></ul><ul><li>Nanotech </li></ul><ul><li>Science-Fiction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Genuine People Personalities (HHGttG) </li></ul></ul>
  24. 28. SI and Architecture <ul><li>Things are social </li></ul><ul><li>Design matters </li></ul><ul><li>Self and Objects </li></ul><ul><li>Things and Places </li></ul><ul><li>Interactions </li></ul><ul><li>Numerous examples (Panopticon, Wailing Wall, Mall of America, Stonehenge…) </li></ul><ul><li>Address theory </li></ul>
  25. 29. Lip-Service
  26. 30. Smith and Bugni Themes <ul><li>Visual component (toward sensory) </li></ul><ul><li>Proxemics </li></ul><ul><li>Intrinsic meaning and possibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Physical structure and social structure </li></ul><ul><li>Reflect, control, change </li></ul><ul><li>Attachment, sacredness </li></ul><ul><li>Public/private </li></ul>
  27. 31. SI <ul><li>Self as social construction </li></ul><ul><li>Self is both subject and object </li></ul><ul><li>Learn self by interaction with material objects </li></ul><ul><li>Making sense of the world and creating it </li></ul>
  28. 32. SI and Material Culture <ul><li>Communicating self </li></ul><ul><li>Embodiment </li></ul><ul><li>Extend personality </li></ul><ul><li>Reminder of sense of self </li></ul><ul><li>Stability </li></ul><ul><li>Familiarity </li></ul><ul><li>Emotion </li></ul>
  29. 33. Contact with Object <ul><li>Tactile </li></ul><ul><li>Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Bodies and things </li></ul><ul><li>Reveals inside </li></ul>
  30. 34. Self and Physical World <ul><li>Social relation </li></ul><ul><li>Mother as object </li></ul><ul><li>Later division humans/non-humans </li></ul><ul><li>Objects maintain social attributes </li></ul>
  31. 35. Goffman <ul><li>Presentation of self </li></ul><ul><li>Face-to-face interactions </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiations and drama </li></ul><ul><li>Categories of Objects (status, exotic/indigenous, collective, stigma) </li></ul><ul><li>Official/alien uses (intended/unintended) </li></ul><ul><li>Social facilitators (conversation piece, fidget…) </li></ul>
  32. 36. Material Context (Room) <ul><li>Co-location </li></ul><ul><li>Highlighting/understating </li></ul><ul><li>Clustering/dispersing </li></ul><ul><li>Status inconsistency (eclectism) </li></ul><ul><li>Conformism (cultural norms) </li></ul><ul><li>Comment elicitation (conversation piece) </li></ul>
  33. 37. Technological Politics <ul><li>Do things have politics? (Langdon Winner) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bridge against busses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Racism of bridge </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social determinism (“Guns don’t kill people”) </li></ul><ul><li>Technological determinism (“Guns make people kill people”) </li></ul>
  34. 38. Politics and Objects <ul><li>Embodiment (engineer social relationships) </li></ul><ul><li>Inherent politics (required relationships) </li></ul><ul><li>Imbued (after the fact) </li></ul>
  35. 39. Next Week <ul><li>Domesticity and Gender </li></ul><ul><li>Private life and social inequality </li></ul><ul><li>Places and objects </li></ul>

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