Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Material Culture

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Anthropological Sciences

DESCRIPTION This study-unit aims to give an insight into Material culture as a method and object of study. Material Culture is focused on the study of objects which can be looked at as signs, as objects of exchange or of desire, as self-projections, as products or as commodities. The study of Material Culture leads to numerous fields of analysis and creates interesting bridges between disciplines, such as archaeology, history, psychology, economics, design and architecture. Consequently the study-unit will include studies of technologies (defined as a chain of choices), studies of acculturation (the evolution of practices in the context of globalization), and studies of identity (on a microsocial or macrosocial level).

Reading List

A study-unit reader will be available, including among other readings:
- Appadurai A.(1981). "Gastro-Politics in Hindu South Asia”.
- Latour B. (2000). The Berlin key or how to do words with things.
- Lemonnier P.(eds).(1993). “Technological choices: transformation in material culture since the Neolithic”.
- Miller D.(1998). “Material Cultures: Why Some Things Matter”.
- Bourdieu P. (1984). “Distinction: a social critique of the judgment of taste”.


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Elise Pisani Billiard

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.