Universität Wien FIND

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240520 SE Selling|Consuming Identities - Material culture in the context of anthropological debates (P4) (2019W)

Continuous assessment of course work

Participation at first session is obligatory!



max. 25 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Tuesday 29.10. 09:00 - 13:00 Seminarraum D, NIG 4. Stock
Tuesday 05.11. 09:00 - 13:00 Seminarraum D, NIG 4. Stock
Tuesday 12.11. 09:00 - 13:00 Seminarraum D, NIG 4. Stock
Tuesday 03.12. 09:00 - 13:00 Seminarraum D, NIG 4. Stock
Tuesday 10.12. 09:00 - 13:00 Seminarraum D, NIG 4. Stock
Tuesday 07.01. 09:00 - 13:00 Seminarraum D, NIG 4. Stock


Aims, contents and method of the course

The seminar deals with the analisis of the commercialization of authenticity and identities (ethnicity e.g.), which is essential and indispensable to understand societies in the context of material culture from a contemporary anthropological perspective. In the seminar, theoretical anthropological approaches will be discussed and linked to the collected sources and/or fieldwork data of the participating students.
The course introduces anthropological theory and practice about material culture and consumption related to local/global strategies of identity marketing. The students are enabled to identify and analyse research fields of material culture studies and consumption anthropology through studying anthropological texts and doing fieldwork (optional). Processes of appreciation and devaluation of consumer practices are shown as integral part of emphasizing differences in societies. The importance of materiality for daily life and identity establishing processes will become unveiled on different social levels and ranks.

The methodology of the course includes:
+ short input sequences
+ presentation of documentations and videos
+ analysis & discussion of anthropological texts, text & film analysis
+ topical working groups with particular assignments (e.g. fieldwork, interviews, text/material analysis)
+ all steps supported by blended learning (Moodle)

Assessment and permitted materials

Assessment (of academic achievement):
+ adequate attandance
+ individual quality of participation
+ feedback appointment
+ written term paper (to be handed in until 31st of march 2020 latest)

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Grading criteria:
+ basic requirement: adequate course participation (continuos attendance)
+ quality of course participation (25%)
+ quality of term paper concept (to be discussed in an obligatory feedback appointment during winterterm) (20%)
+ qualitiy of term paper (55%)

The lecturer can invite students to a grade-relevant discussion about partial achievements. Partial achievements that are obtained by fraud or plagiarized result in the non-evaluation of the course (entry 'X' in certificate). From winter term 2019/20 the plagiarism software 'Turnitin' will be used for courses with continuous assessment.

Examination topics

Reading list

Recommendations (required reading will be discussed in th first seminar block):

BÖNISCH-BREDNICH, Brigitte (2010) (Hrg.) Local lives. Migration and the politics of place, Burlington, VT, Ashgate.
MILLER, Daniel. (ed.). 2002. Consumption: critical concepts in the social sciences. Volumes 1-4. London, Routledge.
MILLER, Daniel. 2008. The comfort of things. Cambridge [u.a.], Polity.
DASTON, Lorraine. (ed.) 2004. Things that talk: object lessons from art and science. New York, NY, Zone Books.
EDWARDS, Elizabeth/ GOSDEN, Chris/ PHILLIPS, Ruth B. (2006). Introduction. In: EDWARDS, Elizabeth et al. (eds.), Sensible Objects. Colonialism, Museums and Material Culture. Oxford & New York/ Berg Publishers: 1-31.
GRAVES-BROWN, Paul (2000). Introduction. In: ders. (ed.), Matter, Materiality and Modern Culture. London & New York, Routledge: 1-9.
HALTER, Marilyn (2000) Shopping for Identity. The Marketing of Ethnicity. Schocken Books, New York.
KALTMEIER, Olaf (2011) (Hrg.) Selling Ethnicity. Urban Cultural Politics in the Americas. Burlington, VT, Ashgate.
KOPYTOFF, Igor (2001). The Cultural Biography of Things: Commoditization as Process” In: Miller, Daniel (ed.), Consumption - Critical Concepts in the Social Sciences, Vol. III [Disciplinary approaches to consumption]. London & New York, Routledge: 9-33.
MILLER, Daniel (2005). Materiality: An Introduction. In: ders. (ed.), Materiality. Durham & London, Duke University Press: 1-50.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:21