This is an innovative, engaging textbook by a prolific author. It is ideal for many disciplines. Objects, artifacts, and other forms of material culture are studied in many different parts of the university. Yet there has been no introductory book that allows students to understand the many ways in which material culture can be studied. Arthur Asa Berger, author of an many popular texts in communication, popular culture, and social theory, provides a brief, user-friendly guide for students learning what objects can mean. He takes the reader through half a dozen theoretical models that are commonly used to understand objects. He then describes and analyzes fifteen objects, showing how they demonstrate ideas like authenticity, globalization, and identity. Berger provides a series of exercises at the end to allow students to do their own analyses of objects in their environment. Brief and inexpensive enough to be included as a component in courses ranging from anthropology to art history, pop culture to psychology, Berger's introductory guide to material culture will be of use to many instructors and their students.
Arthur Asa Berger is professor emeritus in the department of broadcast communication Arts at San Francisco State University. He is author of 60 books on media, popular culture, visual culture, and writing. He has authored textbooks, scholarly works, practical manuals and a series of teaching novels for classroom use.