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Material Culture and Technology in Everyday Life

Ethnographic Approaches


Phillip Vannini

Focusing on the technoculture of everyday life, this book attempts to zero in on the simplicity and the habitual character of the interaction between humans and material objects, which is often assumed or taken for granted. Because objects are always meaningful in the pragmatic use to which they are directed, the material world of everyday life can be seen as a technoculture of its own – one made of behaviors as simple, and yet as significant, as using a lawnmower, or decorating one’s body. In discussing the unique methodological components of the ethnography of the technoculture of everyday life, this book begins a dialogue on how we can examine – from the participants’ perspective – the interconnections between social agents, their technological/material practices, their material objects or technics, and their social and material environment.
Contents: Eugene Halton: Preface – Phillip Vannini: Introduction – Phillip Vannini: Material Culture Studies and the Sociology and Anthropology of Technology – Grant Kein: Actor-Network Theory: Translation as Material Culture – Trevor Pinch: The Social Construction of Technology (SCOT): The Old, the New, and the Nonhuman – Ian Woodward: Material Culture and Narrative: Fusing Myth, Materiality, and Meaning – Phillip Vannini: Material Culture and Technoculture as Interaction – Mélanie Roustan: From Embodied Ethnography to the Anthropology of Material Culture: Gaming in the Field – Chaim Noy: On Driving a Car and Being a Family: An Autoethnography – Dylan Tutt/Jon Hindmarsh: The Screen Deconstructed: Video-Based Studies of the Malleable Screen – Tanfer Emin Tunc: Technologies of Consumption: The Social Semiotics of Turkish Shopping Malls – Ingrid Richardson/Amanda Third: Cultural Phenomenology and the Material Culture of Mobile Media – Ariane Hanemaayer: A Grounded Theory Approach to Engaging Technology on the Paintball Field – Chris Tilley: What Gardens Mean – Bryce Merrill: Making It, Not Making It: Creating Music in Everyday Life – Patrick Laviolette: The Death of the Clinic: Domestic Medical Sensoring – Tina Peterson: The Zapper and the Zapped: Microwave Ovens and the People Who Use Them.