Material culture is a broad and interdisciplinary field that explores the cultural meanings objects acquire in context. It does not impose a hierarchy on what is included; anything that is made from a particular material can be seen as material culture. The implication, however, is that raw materials and natural commodities are, on the whole, excluded, and that there is a certain emphasis on the ways in which things have been made. In the case of tea, for example, the plant itself is perhaps not seen as part of material culture, but its methods of cultivation, the ways in which tea is brewed, the various attributes required in the preparation and consumption of the beverage, and all practices surrounding tea are all part of the material culture. The emphasis on objects has been useful in a number of areas, especially where written sources are difficult to access.
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Asian Material Culture
Asian Material Culture : Martha Chaiklin :
The East Asian cultural sphere , or the Sinosphere , consists of nations in East and Southeast Asia that were historically influenced by the Chinese culture , including literary traditions and religions. However, the historical influence of ancient China has not just been confined to this narrow definition, because it has also spread to Southeast Asian countries like Thailand , Myanmar , Singapore , Malaysia , Indonesia and the Philippines , through the establishment of significant overseas Chinese populations and diaspora communities. The East Asian cultural sphere shares a Confucian ethical philosophy, Buddhism , Taoism , and it historically has shared a 3,year-old ancient Han Chinese writing system. China has been regarded as one of the centers of civilization.
Material Culture and Mao’s China Conference
The buildings, technologies, gardens, symbols, weapons and arts of Asia reveal much about the region's history and culture. This unit examines these and other material objects with the aim of exploring sweeping traits that tie Asian societies together into cohesive cultural streams indicative of shared religions, languages, and practices. Cross-institutional study If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to undertake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.