Superfluous Things: Material Culture and Social Status in Early Modern China

Передня обкладинка
University of Hawaii Press, 2004 - 219 стор.

Now in paperback

This outstanding and original book, presented here with a new preface, examines the history of material culture in early modern China. Craig Clunas analyzes superfluous things the paintings, calligraphy, bronzes, ceramics, carved jade, and other objects owned by the elites of Ming China and describes contemporary attitudes to them. He informs his discussions with reference to both socio-cultural theory and current debates on eighteenth-century England concerning luxury, conspicuous consumption, and the growth of the consumer society.

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Вибрані сторінки


Ideas about things
Words about things
Things of the past
Things in motion
Anxieties about things
Bibliography of primary sources
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Популярні уривки

Сторінка 197 - Pierre Bourdieu, Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste, trans. Richard Nice (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1984); and Pierre Bourdieu, The Field of Cultural Production, ed.
Сторінка 114 - Let us approach commodities as things in a certain situation, a situation that can characterize many different kinds of thing, at different points in their social lives. This means looking at the commodity potential of all things rather than searching fruitlessly for the magic distinction between commodities and other sorts of things.
Сторінка 71 - ... gifts of nature, as the charismatic ideology of the relation to the work of art would have it, or products of learning, and to bring to light the hidden conditions of the miracle of the unequal class distribution of the capacity for inspired encounters with works of art and high culture in general. Every essentialist analysis of the aesthetic disposition, the only socially accepted 'right...
Сторінка 2 - Thus, even though from a theoretical point of view human actors encode things with significance, from a methodological point of view it is the things-in-motion that illuminate their human and social context.
Сторінка 147 - For his memorandum-tablet, the son of Heaven used a piece of sonorous jade; the prince of a state, a piece of ivory ; a Great officer, a piece of bamboo, ornamented with fishbone3 ; ordinary 1 Or foreign dog. An animal like the tapir or rhinoceros is called by the same name, but cannot be meant here. officers might use bamboo, adorned with ivory at the bottom.
Сторінка 201 - Charles O. Hucker, A Dictionary of Official Titles in Imperial China (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1985).
Сторінка 115 - ... aspect of some things (such as heirlooms, postage stamps, and antiques) may be more noticeable than that of some others (such as steel bars, salt, or sugar), this component is never completely irrelevant. The commodity candidacy of things is less a temporal than a conceptual feature, and it refers to the standards and criteria (symbolic, classificatory, and moral) that define the exchangeability of things in any particular social and historical context.
Сторінка 71 - Social identity lies in difference, and difference is asserted against what is closest, which represents the greatest threat.
Сторінка 145 - ... restricting equivalences and exchange in a stable universe of commodities, in a fashion system what is restricted and controlled is taste in an ever-changing universe of commodities, with the illusion of complete interchangeability and unrestricted access. Sumptuary laws constitute an intermediate consumption-regulating device, suited to societies devoted to stable status displays in exploding commodity contexts, such as India, China, and Europe in the premodern period.

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Про автора (2004)

Craig Clunas is Percival David Chair of Chinese Art at SOAS, London, and the author of Superfluous Things, Fruitful Sites: Garden Culture in Ming Dynasty China, Pictures and Visuality in Early Modern China, and Art in China.

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