The Handbook of Material Culture provides a critical survey of the theories, concepts, intellectual debates, substantive domains, and traditions of study characterizing the analysis of "things." This cutting-edge work examines the current state of material culture as well as how this field of study may be extended and developed in the future.

Technology as Material Culture

Technology as Material Culture

Technology as material culture

The term ‘technology’ can be defined in terms broad enough to encompass many of the chapters in this book – architecture, clothing, art, even the body in Foucault's sense of ‘technologies of the self. But even in its narrowest sense of machines, it remains a powerful cultural actor. From looms to linear accelerators, nanotech to the Titanic, the artifacts that transform matter and energy hold a special place as troubling objects of social inquiry. Part one of this chapter begins with a review of classics in social analysis of technology, including Ellul, Krober, Kubler, Marx, Mumford, Washburn, White, and others. While these theorists vary in disciplines (anthropology, history, political science, systems theory, etc.), encompass a wide variety ...

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