Materiality (Politics, History, and Culture)

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$39.76
UPC:
9780822335429
Maximum Purchase:
3 units
Publisher:
Duke University Press Books (July 18, 2005)
Binding:
Paperback
Pages:
304
Shipping Weight:
15.2 ounces
Language:
English
Series:
Politics, History, and Culture
Product Dimensions:
6.1 x 0.8 x 8.9 inches
ISBN-10:
0822335425
ISBN-13:
978-0822335429
Author:
Daniel Miller

Product Overview

Throughout history and across social and cultural contexts, most systems of beliefwhether religious or secularhave 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 inMaterialityexplore 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 contributorsmost of whom are anthropologistsexamine 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 thatMaterialityadvances: a profound acknowledgment and rethinking of one of the basic properties of being human.Contributors.Matthew Engelke, Webb Keane, Susanne Kchler, Bill Maurer, Lynn Meskell, Daniel Miller, Hirokazu Miyazaki, Fred Myers, Christopher Pinney, Michael Rowlands, Nigel Thrift

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