Doing things with things: the design and use of everyday objects

Alan Costall (Editor), O. Dreier (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBook


It has been claimed that the natural sciences have abstracted for themselves a 'material world' set apart from human concerns, and social sciences, in their turn, constructed 'a world of actors devoid of things'. While a subject such as archaeology, by its very nature, takes objects into account, other disciplines, such as psychology, emphasize internal mental structures and other non-material issues. This book brings together a team of contributors from across the social sciences who have been taking 'things' more seriously to examine how people relate to objects. The contributors focus on every day objects and how these objects enter into our activities over the course of time. Using a combination of different theoretical approaches, including actor network theory, ecological psychology, cognitive linguistics and science and technology studies, the book argues against the standard notion of objects and their properties as inert and meaningless and argues for the need to understand the relations between people and objects in terms of process and change.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherAshgate Publishing Limited
Number of pages242
ISBN (Print)9780754646563
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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