material culture l

material culture l

  1. ‘those aspects of CULTURE which govern the production and use of artefacts’ (DOUGLAS, 1964).
  2. the material products or artefacts actually produced by societies.

    Debate about the reference of the term has focused on whether the objects or the ideas and social arrangements associated with the objects should be central. However, the study of material culture is bound to be concerned with the artefacts produced by a society, especially including its implements for the collection and hunting of food and the cultivation of plants, its modes of transportation, its means of housing and clothing, its techniques of food preparation and cooking, its art, and its magical and religious paraphernalia. An important part of sociology and social anthropology, the study of material culture is even more central in ARCHAEOLOGY, given that it has little to study but artefacts. see also CULTURAL MATERIALISM.

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