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The material culture of failure : when things do wrong

Author: Timothy Carroll, (Teaching fellow)
Publisher: London, UK ; New York, NY, USA : Bloomsbury Academic, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2017. ©2017
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"What happens when objects behave unexpectedly or fail to do what they 'should'? Who defines failure? Is failure always bad? Rather than viewing concepts such as failure, incoherence or incompetence as antithetical to social life, this innovative new book examines the unexpected and surprising ways in which failure can lead to positive and creative results. Combining both theoretical and ethnographic approaches to  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Material culture of failure
London ; New York : Bloomsbury Academic, 2017
(DLC) 2017021950
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Timothy Carroll, (Teaching fellow)
ISBN: 9781474289085 1474289088
OCLC Number: 956959217
Description: xv, 216 pages ; 25 cm
Contents: Machine generated contents note: --
List of Illustrations --
Notes on Contributors Foreword: Failure and Fragility: Towards a Material Culture of the End of the World as We Knew It --
Dimitris Dalakoglu 1. Introduction: An Anthropological of Failure --
2. Miracle Materials: Material Disillusions in the Design Industry Camilla Sundwall (University College London, UK) --
3. Deity Clothing as (In)Efficacy in a Hindu Devotional Group Urmila Mohan (University College London, UK) --
4. Whitening Anxiety: Bottled Identity in the Emirates Aaron Lee Parkhurst (University College London, UK) --
5. The Pleasure of Failure in Taiwan Gareth Breen (London School of Economics, UK) --
6. Axes of Incoherence: Engagement and Failure Between Two Material Regimes of Christianity (Timothy Carroll, University College London, UK) --
7. Destruction of Locality: The Role of Heritage in Crisis Syria Julie Shackelford (University College London, UK) --
8. Mapping Failure: Unpacking the Digital Silence David Jeevendrampillai (University College London, UK) --
9. Failed Assemblages: Materiality, Silence and Liberal Responses to 9/11 (Pwyll ap Stifin, University College London, UK) --
10. When Ethnography Goes Wrong: A Study of Physical Failure and Shor Sociality (Charlotte Loris-Rodionoff, University College London, UK) --
11. Holy Water and Testing Transparent Knowledge in the Ethiopian Orthodox Therapeutics (Sasha Antohin, University College London, UK) --
12. Response: Reflections on the Notion of Material Failure in Anthropology (Dimitris Dalakoglou, University of Sussex, UK) --
13: Response: Reflections on the Theoretical and Methodological Implications of a Failed Anthropology (Fiona McDonald, University College London, UK) --
Bibliography --
Index.
Responsibility: edited by Timothy Carroll, David Jeevendrampillai, Aaron Parkhurst and Julie Shackelford.

Abstract:

"What happens when objects behave unexpectedly or fail to do what they 'should'? Who defines failure? Is failure always bad? Rather than viewing concepts such as failure, incoherence or incompetence as antithetical to social life, this innovative new book examines the unexpected and surprising ways in which failure can lead to positive and creative results. Combining both theoretical and ethnographic approaches to failure, The Material Culture of Failure explores how failure manifests itself and operates in a variety of contexts. The editors present ten ethnographic encounters of failure - from areas as diverse as design, textiles, religion, beauty, and physical failure - covering Europe, North America, Asia, Africa, and the Arabian Gulf. Identifying common themes such as interpersonal, national and religious articulations of power and identity, the book shows some of the underlying assumptions that are revealed when materials fail, designs crumble, or things develop unexpectedly. The first anthropological study dedicated to theorizing failure, this innovative collection offers fresh insights based on the latest scholarship. Destined to stimulate a new area of research, the book makes a vital contribution to material culture studies and related social science theory"--

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