The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective (Cambridge Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology)

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9780521357265: The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective (Cambridge Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology)

The contributors to this volume examine how things are sold and traded in a variety of social and cultural settings, both present and past. Bridging the disciplines of social history, cultural anthropology, and economics, the volume marks a major step in our understanding of the cultural basis of economic life and the sociology of culture.

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About the Author:

Arjun Appaduraiis the Goddard Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University and a senior fellow of the Institute for Public Knowledge. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he is the author of editor of numerous books, includingThe Social Life of Things", Modernity at Large", Fear of Small Numbers", andThe Future as Cultural Fact".

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Contributors to this volume examine how "things" are sold and traded in a variety of social and cultural settings. The work strives to reveal the underlying social and political mechanisms that regulate taste, trade and desire and to demonstrate the ways people attach value to objects. -- Book Description

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Arjun Appadurai
Verlag: Cambridge University Pr. Jan 2005 (2005)
ISBN 10: 0521357268 ISBN 13: 9780521357265
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Buchbeschreibung Cambridge University Pr. Jan 2005, 2005. Taschenbuch. Buchzustand: Neu. Neuware - The meaning that people attribute to things necessarily derives from human transactions and motivations, particularly from how those things are used and circulated. The contributors to this volume examine how things are sold and traded in a variety of social and cultural settings, both present and past. Focusing on culturally defined aspects of exchange and socially regulated processes of circulation, the essays illuminate the ways in which people find value in things and things give value to social relations. By looking at things as if they lead social lives, the authors provide a new way to understand how value is externalized and sought after. They discuss a wide range of goods - from oriental carpets to human relics - to reveal both that the underlying logic of everyday economic life is not so far removed from that which explains the circulation of exotica, and that the distinction between contemporary economics and simpler, more distant ones is less obvious than has been thought. As the editor argues in his introduction, beneath the seeming infinitude of human wants, and the apparent multiplicity of material forms, there in fact lie complex, but specific, social and political mechanisms that regulate taste, trade, and desire. Containing contributions from American and British social anthropologists and historians, the volume bridges the disciplines of social history, cultural anthropology, and economics, and marks a major step in our understanding of the cultural basis of economic life and the sociology of culture. It will appeal to anthropologists, social historians, economists, archaeologists, and historians of art. Englisch. Artikel-Nr. 9780521357265

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