- Jan 2018
This is developed through the concept of objectification, which is central to many studies of material culture—albeit differently conceived dependent upon the disciplinary and theoretical stance taken—which explores the intertwined, and often dialectic, relationships between people and things.
Material culture studies, at its core, is concerned with the relationship between people and objects. This relationship can look differently from person to person, since every persons relationship with a particular object way be different.
In seeing the material properties of things as central to the meanings an object might have, much work within material culture studies is critical of the idea that objects merely symbolize or represent aspects of a pre-existing culture or identity.
This shows how the characteristics of an item and its meaning are interconnected. Material culture studies are concerned with more than how an object was used within its cultural time period.