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Rethinking Objectification: From Substitution to Sequence

Kuechler, S; (2020) Rethinking Objectification: From Substitution to Sequence. In: Carroll, T and Walton, S and Walford, A, (eds.) Lineages and Advancements in Material Culture Studies Perspectives from UCL Anthropology. (pp. 115-128). Routledge: London, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

Anthropology has always struggled with accommodating objects into ethnographic analysis in ways that go beyond mirroring what people do and say. The work that made a lasting impact on how anthropology conventionally understands objectification and the difference it makes to society was Marcel Mauss's theory of the gift. This chapter retraces attempts at challenging the standard definition of objectification and sets out the theoretical ideas that inform an alternative. The search for an alternative definition of objectification met with resonance among anthropologists familiar with ecologies in which societies invest in prospective strategies and operatives that are predictable across time and space and that sustain political economies in which distribution reigns paramount. Written by the American anthropologist Anthony Wallace, known for his work on religion, Rockdale recounts the practices and attentions to distribution, honed over centuries, that initially informed academic concern with the workings of machines.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Rethinking Objectification: From Substitution to Sequence
ISBN: 1000182630
ISBN-13: 9781000182637
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.4324/9781003085867
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003085867
Language: English
Additional information: This is the version of record available under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10130624
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