Materiality

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  • Often associated with Marxist thought, the term refers to the economic factors that affect human behaviors, attitudes, and achievements. Theorists who adhere to the ideology of materiality posit that a person's economic situation—income, property, earning power, relationship to the means of production, and the like—is more important than ideas in guiding his or her behavior. This notion is contrasted with idealism or “liberal idealism,” which holds that ideas are the most important factors. In the context of media and communication scholarship, the general connotation of the word—concrete as opposed to ethereal—is also at play. The notion of material as concrete aligns with those economic elements that are considered static or irreducible.

    The term is also used in a related context to describe the characteristics of the ...

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