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This is a book for those looking for different answers to some of today's most fundamental questions. What is a consumer society? Does being a consumer make us less authentic or more materialistic? How and why do we shop? How should we understand the economy? Is our seemingly insatiable desire for goods destroying the planet? Can we reconcile curbs on consumption with goals such as reducing poverty and social inequality?
Miller responds to these questions by proposing feasible and, where possible, currently available alternatives, drawn mainly from his own original ethnographic research. Here you will find shopping analysed as a technology of love, clothing that sidesteps politics in tackling issues of immigration. There is an alternative theory of value that does not assume the economy is intelligent, scientific, moral or immoral. We see Coca-Cola as an example of localization, not globalization. We learn why the response to climate change will work only when we reverse our assumptions about the impact of consumption on citizens. Given the evidence that consumption is now central to the way we create and maintain our core values and relationships, the conclusions differ dramatically from conventional and accepted views as to its consequences for humanity and the planet.
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The diversity of contemporary London is extraordinary, and begs to be better understood. Never before have so many people from such diverse backgrounds been free to mix and not to mix in close proximity to each other. But increasingly people's lives take place behind the closed doors of private houses. How can we gain an insight into what those lives are like today? Not television characters, not celebrities, but real people. How could one ever come to know perfect strangers? Danny Miller attempts to achieve this goal in this brilliant exposé of a street in modern London. He leads us behind closed doors to thirty people who live there, showing their intimate lives, their aspirations and frustrations, their tragedies and accomplishments. He places the focus upon the things that really matter to the people he meets, which quite often turn out to be material things, the house, the dog, the music, the Christmas decorations. He creates a gallery of portraits, some comic, some tragic, some cubist, some impressionist, some bleak and some exuberant. We find that a random street in modern London contains the most extraordinary stories. Mass murderers and saints, the most charmed Christmas since Fanny and Alexander and the story of how a CD collection helped someone overcome heroin. Through this sensitive reading of the ordinary lives of ordinary people, Miller uncovers the orders and forms through which people make sense of their lives today. He shows just how much is to be gained when we stop lamenting what we think we used to be, and instead concentrate on what we are becoming now. He reveals above all the sadness of lives and the comfort of things.
Facebook is now used by nearly 500 million people throughout the world, many of whom spend several hours a day on this site. Once the preserve of youth, the largest increase in usage today is amongst the older sections of the population. Yet until now there has been no major study of the impact of these social networking sites upon the lives of their users. This book demonstrates that it can be profound. The tales in this book reveal how Facebook can become the means by which people find and cultivate relationships, but can also be instrumental in breaking up marriage. They reveal how Facebook can bring back the lives of people isolated in their homes by illness or age, by shyness or failure, but equally Facebook can devastate privacy and create scandal. We discover why some people believe that the truth of another person lies more in what you see online than face-to-face. We also see how Facebook has become a vehicle for business, the church, sex and memorialisation. After a century in which we have assumed social networking and community to be in decline, Facebook has suddenly hugely expanded our social relationships, challenging the central assumptions of social science. It demonstrates one of the main tenets of anthropology - that individuals have always been social networking sites. This book examines in detail how Facebook transforms the lives of particular individuals, but it also presents a general theory of Facebook as culture and considers the likely consequences of social networking in the future.
Things make us just as much as we make things. And yet, unlike the study of languages or places, there is no discipline devoted to the study of material things. This book shows why it is time to acknowledge and confront this neglect and how much we can learn from focusing our attention on stuff.The book opens with a critique of the concept of superficiality as applied to clothing. It presents the theories that are required to understand the way we are created by material as well as social relations. It takes us inside the very private worlds of our home possessions and our processes of accommodating. It considers issues of materiality in relation to the media, as well as the implications of such an approach in relation, for example, to poverty. Finally, the book considers objects which we use to define what it is to be alive and how we use objects to cope with death.
Based on more than thirty years of research in the Caribbean, India, London and elsewhere, Stuff is nothing less than a manifesto for the study of material culture and a new way of looking at the objects that surround us and make up so much of our social and personal life.
A Theory of Shopping offers a highly original perspective on one of our most basic everyday activities - shopping. We commonly assume that shopping is primarily concerned with individuals and materialism. But Miller rejects this assumption and follows the surprising route of analysing shopping by means of an analogy with anthropological studies of sacrificial ritual. He argues that the act of purchasing goods is almost always linked to other social relations, and most especially those based on love and care. The ethnographic sections of the book are based on a year's study of shopping on a street in North London. This provides the basis for a sensitive description of the issues the shopper confronts when making decisions as to what to buy. Miller develops a theory to account for these observations, arguing that shopping typically consists of three major stages which reflect the three key stages of many rites of sacrifice. In both shopping and sacrifice the ultimate intention is to constitute others as desiring subjects. Finally the book examines certain historical shifts in both subjects and objects of devotion, in particular, ideals of gender and love. This treatment of shopping from the perspective of comparative anthropology represents a highly innovative approach to one of the most familiar tasks of our daily lives. Written in a clear and accessible manner, this book will be of interest to students and academics in anthropology, sociology and cultural studies, as well as anybody who wants to consider more deeply the nature of their own everyday activities.
Jedes Jahr reisen Millionen Menschen im Dezember hektisch nach Hause - um dort in aller Besinnlichkeit Weihnachten zu feiern. Obwohl alle auf Kommerz und Materialismus schimpfen, geben sie sich jede Mühe, Verwandten und Freunden mit teuren Geschenken ihre Liebe zu beweisen. Weihnachten steckt voller Paradoxien, mit denen sich Daniel Miller in seinem Essay über die Geschichte und Bedeutung eines Festes befasst, das wie kein anderes dazu geeignet ist, den Kalender der Weltgesellschaft zu synchronisieren.
Traditionell beschäftigen sich Ethnologen mit Verwandtschaftsnetzwerken, Bräuchen und Mythen bestimmter Gruppen von Menschen. Doch was passiert, wenn wir einen immer grösser werdenden Anteil unseres Lebens nicht mehr mit physischer Interaktion, sondern im virtuellen Raum des Internets verbringen? Wenn ein soziales Netzwerk wie Facebook fast 650 Millionen Mitglieder hat? Daniel Miller guckt in seinen Fallstudien, die er - ein Anknüpfungspunkt an die klassische Anthropologie - in Trinidad durchgeführt hat, Facebook-Nutzern über die Schulter. Er trifft einen Mann, dessen Ehe online vor seinen Augen zerbricht, auf Manager, die ihre gesamte Unternehmensstrategie auf diese Plattform ausgerichtet haben, und auf ältere Menschen, denen Facebook es erlaubt, auch weiterhin am wirklichen sozialen Leben teilzuhaben.
Über die moderne Welt sind viele diagnostische Mythen im Umlauf: Sie sei homogenisiert, individualisiert, und die isolierten Individuen gäben sich hemmungslos dem Konsum hin. Der englische Anthropologe Daniel Miller hat diese Mythen hinterfragt - genauer: Er hat die Bewohner einer Londoner Strasse befragt. Und da die Menschen nun einmal nicht gerne über ihr Leben Auskunft geben, hat er mit ihnen über die Dinge in ihren Wohnungen gesprochen: über Simons 15000 Schallplatten, die für ihn alle emotionalen Schattierungen zum Ausdruck bringen; über den Laptop, auf dem Malcolm Unmengen von Briefen und Fotos speichert, um die Erinnerungskultur seiner Aborigines-Vorfahren aufrechtzuerhalten; über die billigen Spielfiguren aus dem Fast-food-Restaurant, mit denen Marina ihren Kindern ihre Liebe zeigt.
A comprehensive guide to the practice of school neuropsychology
It is an exciting time to specialize in school neuropsychology, with countless theoretically and psychometrically sound assessment instruments available for practitioners to use in their evaluations of children with special needs. Yet the field faces the challenges of establishing evidence-based linkages between assessment and interventions and of broadening its approaches to culturally diverse populations.
Edited by a leading expert in school neuropsychology, Best Practices in School Neuropsychology: Guidelines for Effective Practice, Assessment, and Evidence-Based Intervention addresses these challenges and their solutions and provides learning specialists and school psychologists with clear coverage and vital information on this burgeoning area of practice within school psychology.
This insightful reference features comprehensive discussion of:
Current school neuropsychological assessment and intervention models
Best practices in assessing cognitive processes
An overview of what neuroscience offers to the practice of school neuropsychology
How school neuropsychology fits within a Response to Intervention (RTI) model
The rationale for the importance of school psychologists' collaboration with parents, educators, and other professionals to maximize services to children
Clinical applications of school neuropsychology with special populations, academic disabilities, processing deficits, and medical disorders
Unique challenges in working with culturally diverse populations
Featuring contributions from internationally renowned school psychologists, neuropsychologists, clinicians, and academics, Best Practices in School Neuropsychology is the first book of its kind to present best practices and evidence-informed guidelines for the assessment and intervention of children with learning disabilities, as well as other issues practitioners working with children encounter in school settings.