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Cultural Biography of a Comb - Research Paper Example

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This study looks into the idea that objects can also have a specific biography of their own is quite an amazing assertion. It ascribes to objects what is normally associated only with living things, in particular, only with people. It is a bit startling to realize how objects can acquire a biography…
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Cultural Biography of a Comb
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Download file to see previous pages Along this line, objects become imbued with a life of their own, accumulating a series of values and symbolism which a person can give to it, depending on whether it is seen as a commodity within a certain context or time period but then re-incarnates itself as a certain kind of thing from a cultural perspective, that is, something which is very unique to make it a singular object different from other things.
Common things normally are viewed as mere commodities that in the view of economic theory is just a thing that has a use value and therefore allowed to circulate in a capitalist market because people ascribe value to it in terms of its exchange value, as determined by an objective measurement or criteria, usually its monetary value. However, certain things as commodities will quite oddly defy easy classification of being a commodity and acquire so much value to render it something beyond exchange. This is because an object may have acquired or embedded itself to a certain extent within a society as something extremely valuable, or to a certain individual as more than being an ordinary everyday object; in other words, it has acquired a life of its own.
The cultural biography that will be discussed in this paper is that of a common comb. It details how an ordinary but somewhat “extraordinary” comb acquired an interesting life history as it went along in the various cultures in which it first originated, made out of one of the most durable natural materials in the world, how it passed from one culture to the next, and how it still is imbued with too much meaning and significance even in today's modern world of plastics. The comb I am talking about is one made out of turtle shell, one of the hardest-occurring materials in the world such that it endured from one generation to the next with hardly any dents on it.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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