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Material Culture, Consumption and the Construction of Self (Level 5)


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 5

Module description

This course examines the ways in which material cultural practices around consumption are used in the construction of self and identity. Humans imbue material objects with meaning and values. In turn anthropologists have recognised that culture is thoroughly material. This materiality underpins our sense of self, identity and community.

In this course we examine material culture from multiple angles and perspectives, and in diverse contexts, both Western and non-Western. We will apply an anthropological lens to a range of topics - from the circulation of money and commodities, to digital technologies, shopping, fashion and global tourism - in order to understand the ways in which culture is not merely symbolic but intrinsically material.