An interview with Ian Woodward on material culture


There is another interesting interview in the Figure/Ground series. This time it’s with Ian Woodward. It covers some interesting stuff on his background and writing, and it also focuses on his work on material culture. Here is an example of the discussion of material culture:

The turn to material culture is somewhat akin to the case made for a cultural sociology. To some degree, sociologists have always written about objects, materials and things, but at the same time they mostly placed them as background props, scaffolding or architecture. Material culture studies looks to things as vital matter that organise, animate and orient social action. There has been a realization by some scholars that sociology has often been too concerned with values, norms and behaviours as the basis for an explanation of the social, at the expense of the hard and often mobile material things and infrastructures that we engage with and live through.

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