Globalization and Material Culture Studies

How to engage students in the study of their material lives and the consequences of their choices, from The Chronicle of Higher Education:

“Anthropology Course Explores the Life Cycle of, Say, Your Pen”

What I find interesting is that  we use “life” and “lifespan” to refer to an object’s usefulness. Arjun Appadurai discusses the “social” life of objects. Igor Kopytoff analyzes the “cultural biography” of things. Note the qualifiers. Do inanimate objects have lives and life cycles? I’m thinking we need more appropriate and exacting terms. I’m off to read some entries in the Oxford English Dictionary!

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