Social Theory and Archaeology


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Michael Shanks , Christopher Tilley.

Social Theory And Archaeology

Undetected location. NO YES. Social Theory and Archaeology. American Sociological Review — Morse, D. Plains Anthropologist — Mullins, N. Harper and Row: New York. Parsons, T. Harvard University Press: Cambridge. Peebles, C. Popper, K. Price, B. Raab, L.

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Reid, J. Schiffer, M. Schiffer, MB. South, pp.

Archaeological theory

American Antiquity Redman, pp. Wiley-Interscience, New York. Shannon, C. University of Illinois Press: Urbana.

Sullivan, A. I, edited by M. Schiffer, pp. Taylor, Walter W. Thomas, D. Holt: Rinehart, and Winston, New York. Watson, P.


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Columbia University Press: New York. Watson, R. Wiener, N. Avon: New York. Wiessner, P. Willey, G. Freeman: San Francisco. Wood, W. Wright, H. Goodyear There are no affiliations available. Personalised recommendations.

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Archaeological theory - Wikipedia

Theory helps bring those egos down to earth. Theory forces people to focus on peer accepted, cooperative concepts. Post a Comment. Thursday, April 3, Why do I dislike archaeological theory? Archaeological theory, how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways. I am planning a graduate seminar in theory for the fall, so I have theory on the brain. Ugh, I'd rather think about other things! Like basketball and beer. Will I root for Cindy's alma mater, the Florida gators, or for the Wisconsin badgers for Big solidarity? Maybe they won't both win Saturday. Reason 1: Archaeological theory is boring, the same old, same old.

I did some checking with other graduate archaeological theory courses around the country, and they are pretty much the same old historical perspective. First came the discovery of chronology, then culture history, then Binford and the New Archaeology, then Hodder and the post-processualists, then all kinds of high-level abstract social theory, with some other things.

Yadda yadda yadda.

To Infinity and Beyond! A Social History of Frontier Theory

These courses follow Abend's Theory type 4 the words of the great masters, the history of thought. Check out my comments on Abend here Abend will be the first paper assigned in my seminar.


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  7. I don't know how to discuss theory without Abend. But archaeological theory is boring, boring, boring. First, this approach focuses more on ideas about ideas, rather than ideas about what people did in the past.

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    Second, students can read the history of theory on their own if they are interested; I would rather spend my seminar time helping students learn how to USE theory to answer archaeological questions. Knowing what Binford said in won't help much for that. Reason 2: Discussions of theory and epistemology have been hijacked by the post-processualists. How many political economists or epistemological science-types are writing about archaeological theory? Not many. Do you want my historical speculation for the reason?

    Binford and the processualists climbed up the wrong branch when the sided with Hempel's covering law model, which was recognized as not applicable to social science BEFORE they started touting it! Read the philosophy of science. This left scientific archaeology without a valid explanatory epistemology.

    The post-processualists had a field-day, making fun of the bad science of covering-law explanations, while the scientific types like me just hunkered down and did our work, not making much epistemological noise. So nearly all of the publications on archaeological theory after Binford were by post-processualists! No wonder so many students got off on the wrong foot. Reason 3: Non-theory is thrown in with theory.

    Why should topics like ethics, descendant communities, and heritage concerns be included in books Hodder and courses on archaeological theory? Is this what archaeological theory now consists of? Reason 4: Post-processual theory is deficient in social science.

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    Social Theory and Archaeology Social Theory and Archaeology
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