Call for Papers

‘Material Culture and Consumption – Perspectives from the Global South’, special issue of International Review of Social Research, Volume 2, Issue 1, 2012
Guest editors: Carmen Rial (Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil), Angela Souza (Federal University for Latin American Integration, Brazil) and Sandra Rubia Silva (Tuiuti University, Brazil)
International Review of Social Research (www.irsr.eu) seeks articles for a special issue on material culture and consumption, focusing on research carried out in the Global South, to be published in February 2012. Although the study of consumption has enjoyed a good level of recognition in academic terms in recent years – especially since the publication of Material Culture and Mass Consumption, 1987, by Daniel Miller, the study of its dynamics in the Global South still deserves attention. However, it has increasingly attracted the attention of researchers throughout the world, who are not only interested in the particularities of consumption in emergent economies such as Brazil, Russia, India and China, but also in the interplay between global and local realms as far as globalization processes are concerned. Such manifestations can be found, for instance, in the dynamics related to migration, to the global circulation of media and to local forms of appropriation of global technologies such as mobile phones.


The understanding of consumption as material culture seeks to transcend the usual dualism between persons and things, as well as elucidate the ways by which social relations are created through consumption as a social and cultural activity. As Daniel Miller 1987 points out, underlying the consideration of consumption as material culture is the belief that, far from promoting materialism, a material culture perspective shows how consumption can be used to understand our humanity.
In light of these developments, this special issue seeks historical studies and culturally informed critiques of different forms of consumption in the Global South. Contributions grounded in empirical research (especially qualitative) are particularly welcome. We are especially interested in papers that analyze the diverse genres of material culture. Essays that reveal earlier precedents for this current phenomenon, or works that reveal how theories developed in the past should be re-evaluated in the light of the dynamics of consumption in the Global South are also welcome.
The following list indicates, but is not limited to the range of potential topics:
· The role of consumption in relationships;
· Material culture genres such as craftwork, the media, food, clothing and communication technologies;
· Consumption and the construction of identities.
The editors kindly request authors to send papers (4,000 – 8,000 words in length) together with an abstract of no more than 200 words, to the following address: materialculture@irsr.eu until September 1st, 2011. Authors will be notified by e-mail. This special issue will be edited by Carmen Rial, Angela Souza and Sandra Rubia Silva, professors and researchers at Brazilian universities.

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