Objectification considers the construction and translation of social relations, culture and value systems through artefacts, and has three primary concerns.
First of all the concept of knowledge and identity is possible through objects.
The way individuals and groups objectify their identities allows an understanding of culturally specific social practices.
This approach aims to go beyond physiognomic analysis to question the artifice of Enlightenment categorizations of the cultural and natural world which subjects and objects inhabit.
Anthropology is the study of social relationships and material culture is the study of objects.
Objects are closely linked to what people do and social processes, for as Simmel argues…
The term biography means a written account of a person’s life, which is usually done by another.
An object can never be the author of its own biography or of another object in the way that humans are able to author their’s and other’s life stories.
A methodology which applies the notion of biography to things recovers man’s embodied relation to the world.
The current aim of material culture studies, as multi-displinary and within the anthropology department at University College London (which include amongst others; Tilley, 1999, 1991; Miller, 1995, 1987; Pinney, 2004; Kuchler, 2001), and from which I take my lead, is to develop Hegelian, Marxist, and Bourdieurian materialist theories through ethnographic research in order to de-fetishize objects and to find a more worthy model of engagement with the world.