Culture Essay

Pages: 3 (780 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Anthropology

In an object -- driven approach the emphasis is placed on how material things relate to the specific culture that makes use of them. This approach is not quite as concrete as the object -- centered approach because materials or objects can take on different roles and their uses and functions can differ over time and between different groups of people can differ. Objects in a culture can reflect meaning or they can create meaning. In the object -- driven approach one of the first things that must be considered is how certain objects are destroyed or defaced when the political status of a group changes such as the destruction of the Berlin Wall in the 1980s. Such a loss is particularly a problem in studying religious artifacts from both approaches as if the prevailing religious affiliation of a group makes a drastic change these objects are often completely destroyed.

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Material culture studies recognize that objects or "things" have politics and that the choices about how a particular culture constructs, uses, and even purchases these objects are important aspects of a culture. A recent theme in material culture studies has been the concerned with the effects of the productive capacities of capitalistic economies and how vast increases in goods, services, and the ability of the labor force to acquire these objects has changed the people in them. In many of these more modern studies of existing cultures the concert is not been with the objects themselves but with the effect the objects have on the ideologies and cultures of the people within the societies. The study of material culture has renewed interest in the works of people like Marx, Simmel, and other theorists who made broad assumptions about consumption, social class, and culture (Woodward, 2007). Material culture offers a way to broaden the overall perspective when studying a particular culture.


Friedel, R. (1993). Some matters of substance. In Lubar, S. & Kingery, W.D. (eds.). History

from things: Essays on material culture (pp. 41 -- 50). Washington, DC: Smithsonian

Institution Press.

Gertz, C. (1973). The interpretation of cultures. New York: Basic Books.

Essay on Culture the Term "Culture" Originally Assignment

Herman, B.L. (1992). The stolen house. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia.

Newman, D. (2011). Sociology: Exploring the architecture of everyday life (7th Ed.). Thousand


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How to Cite "Culture " Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Culture .  (2012, December 3).  Retrieved March 7, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Culture ."  3 December 2012.  Web.  7 March 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Culture ."  December 3, 2012.  Accessed March 7, 2021.