With the ‘cultural turn’, the concept of culture has assumed enormous importance in our understanding of the interrelations between social, political, and economic structures, patterns of everyday interaction, and systems of meaning-making. In The SAGE Handbook of Cultural Analysis, the leading figures in their fields explore the implications of this paradigm shift. Addressed to academics and advanced students in all fields of the social sciences and humanities, this Handbook is at once a synthesis of advances in the field, with a comprehensive coverage of the scholarly literature, and a collection of original and provocative essays by some of the brightest intellectuals of our time.
Chapter 13: Material Culture
Material Culture Studies: History and Ideology
The titles, topics and contents of the academic disciplines are generally received as though they were a logical, or at least reasonable, outcome of a division of academic labour into relatively discrete categories. We have literature therefore we have English, we have universal properties of materials therefore we have Physics. We assume there ought to be a discipline that studies language, even though this discipline has changed radically from one that a century ago was concerned largely with the evolution and the dispersal of languages and at another stage was almost entirely concerned with grammar. It seems reasonable that both are called linguistics, not because these approaches had much in common, but because of the object, language, ...