Smartphone and it’s affect on our daily lives

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Smartphone and it’s affect on our daily lives

Material Culture

Assignment 2

Daniel Miller suggests that the material objects around us can be read as revelatory of a culture and its ways of thinking and patterns for acting. The objects around us ‘reveal’ our world, and give material form to social values, ideas and expectations. We often utilize these objects in taken for granted ways, and interact with the material elements that make up our world as if they are natural. The objective of a sociology of material culture is to become reflective of the ideas and values and expectations that become normalized in and through the material world around us. A. Forms of TECHNOLOGY a. examples: a smartphone, a car, new appliances, etc. If you are looking at an object of technology, what are the physical features of that object and what do those features make visible? Are there other technological objects that it makes necessary? What does the placement of this technology make normal, or how does its usual setting influence how it is understood? How does its form (design) set up how people engage with it? How does it set up expectations of the body or the mind? How does the object set up ‘parameters for thinking and acting’? What does it normalize or take for granted? The goal of this assignment is to DIRECTLY OBSERVE, DESCRIBE and ANALYZE an object or site sociologically that is in our current, local environment as a cultural artifact. This means that your aim is to not take for granted how this everyday object or site is normally viewed or used, but to find ways to ‘see’ what is not normally seen. Remember the following question: ‘if you did not know what it was, how would it ‘tell’ you (or anyone else who sees it)?’ In your essay, you should relate your findings to at least ONE of the articles that have been utilized in this half of the course, showing your grasp of its argument and ability to use it to aid in your analysis. Your paper should also explicitly identify specifically the object / site that you have directly observed and when/where it was observed.

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