“Comprehension” of Objects (For the Relations of People with Natural and Technical Objects in the Contemporary Forms of Social Life) Cover Image
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„Проумяването“ на предметите (За отношенията на хората с природните и техническите обекти в съвременните форми на социален живот)
“Comprehension” of Objects (For the Relations of People with Natural and Technical Objects in the Contemporary Forms of Social Life)

Author(s): Ivan Chalakov
Subject(s): Anthropology
Published by: Институт за етнология и фолклористика с Етнографски музей при БАН

Summary/Abstract: The article discusses the way, in which we can apply ethnographic and ethnological approaches in the investigation of social practices in modern societies. It shows the special status of the natural and technical objects in these societies in comparison to traditional and primitive societies. This change affects the very texture of social action (its spatial localization and range) and the qualities of the social actors (one of the most important among these is the ability to switch over between different types or modes of action). Focussing his analysis on the micro-level of social action (the mode of the known), the author shows the necessity of further development of the existing approaches. On the example of the investigation of cognitive practices in a scientific laboratory he introduces the notion heterogeneous couple as an elementary form of reference between the human and the inhuman (natural and technical) actors in modern societies. In the conclusive part of the text the author re-considers his earlier thesis for sensual and bodily experience as a primary basis for the new language and material practices in heterogeneous micro-communities. He points out some arguments for a more balanced approach, which to some extent rehabilitates the initial role of language in this process, so language is no longer interpreted as a completely “cultural” phenomenon.

  • Issue Year: XXX/2004
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 50-67
  • Page Count: 18
  • Language: Bulgarian