- The Oxford Handbook of Material Culture Studies
- List of Figures
- List of Tables
- List of Contributors
- Introduction: Material Culture Studies: a Reactionary View
- The Material‐Cultural Turn: Event and Effect
- Material Geographies
- Material Culture in Folklife Studies
- Material Histories
- The Materials of STS
- Material Culture and the Dance of Agency
- Fieldwork and Collecting
- Gifts and Exchange
- Art as Action, Art as Evidence
- Archaeological Assemblages and Practices of Deposition
- Technology and Material Life
- The Malice of Inanimate Objects: Material Agency
- From Identity and Material Culture to Personhood and Materiality
- Materiality and Embodiment
- Material Culture in Primates
- Cultural Landscapes
- Ecological landscapes
- Urban materialities: meaning, magnitude, friction, and outcomes
- Architecture and cultural history
- Households and ‘Home Cultures’
- Stone Tools
- The Landscape Garden as Material Culture: Lessons from France
- Built Objects
- Ceramics (As Containers)
- Magical Things: on Fetishes, Commodities, and Computers
- Afterword: <i>Fings Ain't Wot they Used t' be</i>: Thinking Through Material Thinking as Placing and Arrangement
Abstract and Keywords
Humans live in a world of things. They are surrounded by artefacts. Referred to as the social shaping of technology, this has been an interesting area of research in the recent past. The focus of this article is on the ‘material life’ of human beings, and the place of technology within it. The authors approach this topic from the discipline of archaeology, specifically behavioural archaeology, but also draw on research in other fields. This article, expands this framework to include the life histories of technologies and associated material practices. This article further contextualizes contemporary technology studies, primarily in archaeology, and considers how theoretical concepts from behavioural archaeology and social constructivist studies of technology might be combined. Archaeological studies of technology are explained in details in the following section with special emphasis on performance characteristics. This article also explains the life history of technology which helps us conceptualize material practices in relation to objects and technologies.
Kacy L. Hollenback is a Ph.D. student in Anthropology at the University of Arizona.
Michael Brian Schiffer is the Fred A. Riecker Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the University of Arizona. He received the B.A. degree (summa cum laude) at UCLA (1969), and the M.A. (1972) and Ph.D. (1973) at the University of Arizona. His areas of interest include behavioral archaeology, formation processes of the archaeological and historical records, technological change, experimental archaeology, ceramic technology, and electrical technology. He is the author or co-author of more than a dozen books, the most recent of which are Studying Technological Change: A Behavioral Approach (Utah, 2011) and The Archaeology of Science: Studying the Creation of Useful Knowledge (Springer 2013). He is also a potter who does hand-building and throwing.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.