The Social Life of Materials

Smart materials are designed to anticipate our actions and needs, yet we are increasingly unable to apprehend the composite materials which comprise new products.Bringing together ethnographic studies of cultures from around the world, this ...

The Social Life of Materials

The Social Life of Materials

Materials play a central role in society. Beyond the physical and chemical properties of materials, their cultural properties have often been overlooked in anthropological studies: finished products have been perceived as ‘social’ yet the materials which comprise them are considered ‘raw’ or natural’. The Social Life of Materials proposes a new perspective in this interdisciplinary field. Diverting attention from the consumption of objects, the book looks towards the properties of materials and how these exist through many transformations in a variety of cultural contexts.Human societies have always worked with materials. However, the customs and traditions surrounding this differ according to the place, the time and the material itself. Whether or not the material is man-made, materials are defined by social intervention. Today, these constitute one of the most exciting areas of global scientific research and innovation, harboring the potential to act as key vehicles of change in the world. But this ‘materials revolution’ has complex social implications. Smart materials are designed to anticipate our actions and needs, yet we are increasingly unable to apprehend the composite materials which comprise new products.Bringing together ethnographic studies of cultures from around the world, this collection explores the significance of materials by moving beyond questions of what may be created from them. Instead, the text argues that the materials themselves represent a shifting ground around which relationships, identities and powers are constantly formed and dissolved in the act of making and remaking.

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The Social Life of Materials
Language: en
Pages: 336
Authors: Adam Drazin, Susanne Küchler
Categories: Social Science
Type: BOOK - Published: 2020-06-08 - Publisher: Routledge

Materials play a central role in society. Beyond the physical and chemical properties of materials, their cultural properties have often been overlooked in anthropological studies: finished products have been perceived as ‘social’ yet the materials which comprise them are considered ‘raw’ or natural’. The Social Life of Materials proposes a
The Social Life of Nanotechnology
Language: en
Pages: 278
Authors: Barbara Herr Harthorn, John W. Mohr
Categories: Science
Type: BOOK - Published: 2013-06-03 - Publisher: Routledge

This book addresses the interconnections and tensions between technological development, the social benefits and risks of new technology, and the changing political economy of a global world system as they apply to the emerging field of nanotechnologies. The basic premise, developed throughout the volume, is that nanotechnologies have an undertheorized
The Social Life of Inkstones
Language: en
Pages: 330
Authors: Dorothy Ko
Categories: History
Type: BOOK - Published: 2017-05-01 - Publisher: University of Washington Press

An inkstone, a piece of polished stone no bigger than an outstretched hand, is an instrument for grinding ink, an object of art, a token of exchange between friends or sovereign states, and a surface on which texts and images are carved. As such, the inkstone has been entangled with
The Social Life of the Japanese Language
Language: en
Pages: 352
Authors: Shigeko Okamoto, Janet S. Shibamoto-Smith
Categories: Foreign Language Study
Type: BOOK - Published: 2016-08-04 - Publisher: Cambridge University Press

This book focuses on the historical construction of language norms and its relationship to actual language use in contemporary Japan.
The Social Life of Art
Language: en
Pages: 328
Authors: Peter Stupples
Categories: Art
Type: BOOK - Published: 2014-11-10 - Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing

This study examines not only the objects and processes that make up the artworlds of human history, but also the social and cultural circumstances, the historicised contexts that bring about their making, frame their functioning, inform their properties and influence their effects, both at the time of their creation and

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