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SOCI/ANTH 441 Material Culture Week 2: Things

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SOCI/ANTH 441 Material Culture Week 2: Things

  1. 1. Week 2 — Things SOCI/ANTH 441 Material Culture Alexandre Enkerli September 10, 2008
  2. 2. Today <ul><li>Material Culture </li></ul><ul><li>Texts </li></ul><ul><li>Object </li></ul><ul><li>Project </li></ul>
  3. 3. Online Content <ul><li>Readings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reserve </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Moodle site </li></ul><ul><li>Audio recording </li></ul><ul><li>Slides </li></ul>
  4. 5. Material <ul><li>Materia: matter </li></ul><ul><li>Physical object </li></ul><ul><li>Physics/chemistry/biology </li></ul><ul><li>Spatial dimensions, weight </li></ul><ul><li>“ Sensible” (can be touched, smelled, seen…) </li></ul><ul><li>Distinct form </li></ul>
  5. 6. Material to Material Culture <ul><li>Natural or human-made (trees to tables) </li></ul><ul><li>Real or imagined (trees and tables vs. designs) </li></ul><ul><li>Matter turned into things through culture </li></ul><ul><li>“ Material culture is that segment of man’s physical environment which is purposely shaped by him according to a culturally dictated plan” (Deetz, James. 1977.  In Small Things Forgotten . Anchor Press/Doubleday.) </li></ul>
  6. 7. Culture <ul><li>(Dant on) </li></ul><ul><li>Human specificity </li></ul><ul><li>Transmission of knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Sophistication </li></ul><ul><li>Designed vs. natural </li></ul>
  7. 8. Wood <ul><li>Substance </li></ul><ul><li>Piece of wood </li></ul><ul><li>Object made of wood </li></ul><ul><li>“ Wood in popular culture” </li></ul><ul><li>http://xkcd.com/446/ </li></ul>
  8. 9. <ul><li>Things (Generic) </li></ul><ul><li>Stuff (Unspecific) </li></ul><ul><li>Artefact (Made) </li></ul><ul><li>Goods/Commodities/Gifts (Exchange) </li></ul><ul><li>Icons (Symbolism) </li></ul><ul><li>Heirlooms (Transmission) </li></ul><ul><li>Trash/Garbage/Refuse (Useless) </li></ul>Terms
  9. 10. Distinctions <ul><li>Objects (subjects) </li></ul><ul><li>Products (processes) </li></ul><ul><li>Goods (services) </li></ul><ul><li>Commodities (luxury goods) </li></ul><ul><li>Belongings (self) </li></ul><ul><li>Earthly possessions (essence) </li></ul>
  10. 11. Is It a Thing? <ul><li>Money </li></ul><ul><li>The subject of a painting </li></ul><ul><li>Music </li></ul><ul><li>Starship Enterprise </li></ul><ul><li>Food </li></ul><ul><li>GMO </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual Reality </li></ul><ul><li>Humans </li></ul>
  11. 12. Dant
  12. 13. Material Culture <ul><li>Empirical sociology </li></ul><ul><li>Object itself </li></ul><ul><li>Concrete </li></ul><ul><li>Daily experience </li></ul>
  13. 14. Car in Sociology <ul><li>Contrast to pedestrianism </li></ul><ul><li>Manufacturing </li></ul><ul><li>Car as tool </li></ul>
  14. 15. Theory Lip-Service <ul><li>Barthes and semiotics </li></ul><ul><li>Gibson's affordance </li></ul><ul><li>Actor-network </li></ul><ul><li>SST </li></ul><ul><li>SCOT </li></ul><ul><li>Sociology of science </li></ul><ul><li>Merleau-Ponty </li></ul><ul><li>Foucault </li></ul>
  15. 16. Humanness <ul><li>Intention (some built-in) </li></ul><ul><li>Mediation </li></ul><ul><li>Embodiment (Merleau-Ponty) </li></ul><ul><li>Sensory experience </li></ul>
  16. 17. Partly Human <ul><li>Non-human/human </li></ul><ul><li>“ Assemblage” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Hybrid” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Cyborg” </li></ul><ul><li>Object-ivity </li></ul><ul><li>Co-dependency </li></ul><ul><li>Co-evolution </li></ul><ul><li>Social being </li></ul>
  17. 18. System <ul><li>Function together </li></ul><ul><li>More than sum of parts </li></ul><ul><li>Synergy </li></ul><ul><li>Cybernetics </li></ul><ul><li>Diversity of components </li></ul>
  18. 20. Moka Pots <ul><li>Schnapp topic </li></ul><ul><li>Through Myron Joshua </li></ul><ul><li>Approaching object </li></ul><ul><li>Among favourite objects </li></ul><ul><li>Lived with them </li></ul>
  19. 21. Depictions <ul><li>Swiss Clip </li></ul><ul><li>French Clip </li></ul>
  20. 22. Personal Response <ul><li>React to presence or depictions </li></ul><ul><li>Homeliness </li></ul><ul><li>Familiarity </li></ul><ul><li>Ritual </li></ul><ul><li>Culinary </li></ul><ul><li>Europeanness </li></ul><ul><li>Nostalgic </li></ul><ul><li>Timeless </li></ul>
  21. 23. Part of my Identity <ul><li>Known as user of moka pots </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Expertise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Influence </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Unusual in context </li></ul><ul><li>“ Sophisticated yet simple” </li></ul><ul><li>CoffeeGeek </li></ul><ul><li>Culinary enthusiast </li></ul>
  22. 24. My Moka Pots <ul><li>“ Seasoned” </li></ul><ul><li>Hard to replace </li></ul><ul><li>Coffee smelling </li></ul><ul><li>Varied (sizes...) </li></ul>
  23. 25. Features <ul><li>Portable </li></ul><ul><li>Light </li></ul><ul><li>Sturdy </li></ul><ul><li>Inexpensive </li></ul><ul><li>Durable </li></ul><ul><li>“ Low Tech” </li></ul><ul><li>Filterless </li></ul>
  24. 26. Composition/Construction <ul><li>Aluminum </li></ul><ul><li>Stainless steel versions </li></ul><ul><li>“ Aluminum scare ” </li></ul>
  25. 27. Variety <ul><li>Bialetti models </li></ul><ul><li>Sizes (in “demitasse” cups) </li></ul><ul><li>Material </li></ul><ul><li>Design </li></ul><ul><li>Brands </li></ul><ul><li>Evolution (Mukka, Brikka…) </li></ul>
  26. 28. Functioning <ul><li>Coffee brewing method </li></ul><ul><li>“ Instructions” (put water in...) </li></ul><ul><li>Internal working (steam pressure…) </li></ul><ul><li>Maintenance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Proper “Seasoning”   </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Sacrificial pot” </li></ul></ul>
  27. 29. Espresso? <ul><li>“ Poor man’s espresso?” </li></ul><ul><li>Not the right amount of pressure </li></ul><ul><li>No need for barista experience </li></ul><ul><li>Simpler technology </li></ul><ul><li>No crema </li></ul><ul><li>Different taste </li></ul><ul><li>Subpar espresso or superior home drink </li></ul>
  28. 30. Brikka <ul><li>Evolution on Moka Express design </li></ul><ul><li>Top-hat widget </li></ul><ul><li>Bialetti patent </li></ul><ul><li>Crema-like emulsion </li></ul><ul><li>Tastes more like espresso </li></ul><ul><li>CoffeeGeek forum </li></ul><ul><li>Myron Joshua </li></ul>
  29. 31. <ul><li>The Sociology and Anthropology of a &quot;Thing&quot; </li></ul>
  30. 32. Three parts <ul><li>Description of a Thing (20%, due October 1) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Maximum 4000 words (about 8 pages) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Presentation (30%, November 5—26) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Presentation lasting 10 minutes, 5 minutes of questions, outline of maximum 1500 words (about 3 pages) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Final Paper (40%, Due December 5) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Maximum 10000 words (about 20 pages) </li></ul></ul>
  31. 33. Thing <ul><li>Open Choice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Needs to be a physical object </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-human </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Advice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Discrete (can point to it) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preferably human-made </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preferably durable, unique </li></ul></ul>
  32. 34. Number of words <ul><li>Don’t think in length </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t fill up </li></ul><ul><li>Approximate maximum </li></ul><ul><li>“ Lorem Ipsum” </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.lipsum.com/ </li></ul>
  33. 35. Marks <ul><li>IF : Insightful ( goal ) </li></ul><ul><li>OC : Original and Creative </li></ul><ul><li>HP : Honest and Personal </li></ul><ul><li>TR : Thoughtful and Reflexive ( standard ) </li></ul><ul><li>EX : Appropriate Examples </li></ul><ul><li>ED : Elaborate and Detailed </li></ul><ul><li>CSF : Concise and Straightforward ( decent ) </li></ul>
  34. 36. Part I: Description of a “Thing” <ul><li>Due October 1 </li></ul><ul><li>20% of the final grade </li></ul><ul><li>Maximum 4000 words (about 8 pages) </li></ul><ul><li>Assignment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Describe thing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Justify” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Embed in social study </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Plan work </li></ul></ul>
  35. 37. What the “thing” is <ul><li>Object type (What kind of an object is it?) </li></ul><ul><li>Sensory (What does it look/feel/smell like?) </li></ul><ul><li>Construction (What is it made of?) </li></ul><ul><li>Function (What does it do? What is it used for?) </li></ul><ul><li>History/genealogy/origin (Where did it come from?) </li></ul><ul><li>Ecology/situatedness (How does it relate to people and other objects?) </li></ul><ul><li>Social Contexts </li></ul>
  36. 38. Significance <ul><li>Anthropological/Sociological </li></ul><ul><li>Is it important? </li></ul><ul><li>Who is it important for? (Individuals, groups, societies) </li></ul><ul><li>What does it mean? </li></ul>
  37. 39. Making sense <ul><li>Course material </li></ul><ul><li>Approaches </li></ul><ul><li>Literature </li></ul>
  38. 40. Plan <ul><li>How will you study it? </li></ul><ul><li>Resources </li></ul><ul><li>Primary sources </li></ul><ul><li>Secondary sources </li></ul><ul><li>Research methods </li></ul>
  39. 41. Giving You Ideas <ul><li>Dant </li></ul><ul><ul><li>New way to think about common object </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Human/non-human </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Extension of self </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Theoretical summary </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Schnapp </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Object and substance (materiality) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Craftsmanship </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Domesticity </li></ul></ul>
  40. 42. Next Week <ul><ul><li>Tasters on social theory </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Classical approaches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ANT and SI </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Latour’s Classic, recent SI </li></ul></ul>

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