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Things make us just as much as we make things. And yet, unlike the study of languages or places, there is no discipline devoted to the study of material things. This book shows why it is time to acknowledge and confront this neglect and how much we can learn from focusing our attention on stuff.The book opens with a critique of the concept of superficiality as applied to c ...more
Paperback, 169 pages
Published December 1st 2009 by Polity Press
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Miller seems to spend more time advocating for material culture studies in this book than he does actually performing material cultural analysis. When he does the former, I found his attempts to situate the work and philosophy of material culturists useful. He nicely distinguishes his m.o. from that of both Bourdieu and Latour, for example, explaining that he isn't so much advocating for a theory of objects and people commingling side-by-side, but rather a more determinist stance wherein objects ...more
Aug 18, 2013 Maria Fernanda Gonzalez rated it 5 of 5 stars
"Trecos, Troços e Coisas" meio que se tornou minha "leitura cobertorzinho" nas Ciências Sociais - como a criança que se volta para seu cobertorzinho de estimação quando se sente intimidada, tenho certeza que vou voltar para esse livro quando estiver lendo Cuche e não estiver entendo nada. Daniel Miller é quase uma mãe para o leitor - ele pega conceitos complicados - alguns até mesmo indecifráveis - e os transporta para o mundo das pessoais normais. Por exemplo: até ler esse livro, eu tinha certe ...more
A really excellent book in which Miller summarizes much of his work to date. The book's central argument is that humans and stuff dialectically construct each other through processes of objectification... but Miller explains this all in a manner that is easily graspable and highly entertaining. I'm very much looking forward to reading the sequel, Consumption and Its Consequences (though I'll have to wait until that comes through interlibrary loan since the Notre Dame library -- gasp! -- does not ...more
This book summarizes and reflects on Miller's precious research and publications. It is a useful for giving the reader a summing up of his interests. The sections discussing Miller's more theoretical work on, for example, objects as agents, provide a nice overview of his ideas. As is often the case, the author has become more fluent in explaining some very complex ideas. The sections on his ethnographic research are less satisfying. The reader is asked to accept the conclusions without much disc ...more