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Making Things BetterA Workbook on Ritual, Cultural Values, and Environmental Behavior$
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A. David Napier

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199969357

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199969357.001.0001

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Meaning and Property

Meaning and Property

Chapter:
(p.21) Chapter 1 Meaning and Property
Source:
Making Things Better
Author(s):

A. David Napier

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199969357.003.0004

Animating an object (enhancing the power of something one already values or finding a thing one can connect to in such a way) requires patience, imagination, persistence, and commitment. This chapter employs everyday and ubiquitous things (instead of attachment to other places, pastimes, or exotic peoples) to invite readers to consider how value is created locally. Property commonly refers to things that are owned or can be possessed by individuals or groups of people. At the same time, any definition of property is easily challenged when cultural prejudices are transcended and things are thought of as extensions of the self. This book attempts to demonstrate how different views of property are dependent on the diverse ways cultures separate people from things. In many societies the distinction between people and things is not hard and fast. To embrace other ways of understanding property it is necessary to experiment with various techniques for relating to objects.

Keywords:   Property, Commodities, Capitalism, Fetish, Intellectual property, Cultural property, Human agency

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