In the social sciences, material culture is a term, developed in the late 19th and early 20th century, that refers to the relationship between artifacts and social relations. Studying a culture's relationship to materiality is a lens through which social and cultural attitudes can be discussed. It is also a term used by historians, sometimes described under the variant term material history, where it means the study of ancient objects in order to understand how a particular culture was organised and functioned over time.
People's relationship to and perception of objects are socially and culturally dependent. The perceived importance of our material heritage was expressed in 1976 by a UNESCO panel that claimed "cultural property is a basic element of people’s identity and ‘being depends on having’ (Rowlands, 2002: 127)" Although protecting cultural heritage can help to empower minorities, preoccupations with ofﬁcial monuments can also silence diverse histories.
This discourse has its roots in museums, but there has been "a shift from such favored objects of theory as Stonehenge and Kula valuables to consumables like tomato soup" This shift is also made visible by the number of books that explore our engagement with the physical world through specific objects; Pencils, zippers, toilets, tulips, etc.
Critical discourse surrounding contemporary material culture has become an important aspect of design education because it offers designers new perspectives on how their practice affects society and the environment. Discussions about material culture have offered critiques of consumerism and throw-away culture. New approaches to materiality can be seen through ideas such as Cradle to Cradle Design and Appropriate technology.
Archaeologists study the material culture of past societies, and study past societies through their material culture remains.
Other articles related to "material culture, materials, culture, cultures":
... in the dissemination of Christianity within Georgia Monuments of Georgian spiritual and material culture in `The Holy Land` Isotheistic theory concerning the origin of Georgian kings (acc ... the Bagrationis' coat of arms) in medieval Georgian material culture Monuments of the Georgian Jews spiritual and material culture, their religious life and traditions The Georgian Jews' way of life ... in Georgia There will be different photographs, textual, subject materials presented in the exhibition maps, landscapes, districts of the Jews' historical settlement in ...
... Explaining Traditions Folk Behavior in Modern Culture ... Folklore in the Discourse of American Culture ... (ed.) American Material Culture and Folklife ...
... Sacrifice was very common in early Andean cultures, and the Lima culture is no exception ...
Famous quotes containing the words culture and/or material:
“Our culture is ill-equipped to assert the bourgeois values which would be the salvation of the under-class, because we have lost those values ourselves.”
—Norman Podhoretz (b. 1930)
“I wish all men to be free. I wish the material prosperity of the already free which I feel sure the extinction of slavery would bring.”
—Abraham Lincoln (18091865)