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In Defense of Things : Archaeology and the Ontology of Objects (Hardcover)

Author: Olsen, Bjornar

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"This excellent book by Bjørnar Olsen provides us with the best critical survey of material culture studies currently available. He also shows how writing about `things' from an archaeological perspective makes new theoretical contributions."---Michael Rowlands, University College London

"Since the emergence of'material culture studies' in the 1980s, there has been a growing need for a more fundamental rethinking of the nature of material things. This excellent book is one of the most sustained and sophisticated attempts to grapple with the problems of the tangible world, and it is to be unreservedly recommended."---Julian Thomas, University of Manchester

In much recent thinking, social and cultural realms are thought of as existing prior to---or detached from---the material world. It is often assumed, for example, that things are entirely "constructed" by social or cultural perceptions and have no meaningful existence in and of themselves. Bjørnar Olsen takes a different position. Drawing on a range of theories, especially phenomenology and actor-network theory, Olsen claims that human life is fully mixed up with things and that humanity and human history emerge from such relationships. Things, moreover, possess unique qualities that they bring to our cohabitation with them---qualities that also help to facilitate our existential security and memory of the past. This important work challenges us to reconsider our ideas about the nature of things, past and present, demonstrating that objects themselves possess a dynamic presence that we must take into account if we are to understand the world we and they inhabit.

Specifications

Publisher Altamira Pr
Mfg Part# 9780759119307
SKU 213788323
Format Hardcover
ISBN10 0759119309
Release Date 6/30/2010
Product Attributes
eBooks Kobo
Book Format Hardcover
Number of Pages 0203
Publisher Altamira Press
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