chapter  4
30 Pages

Social Aspects of the Tobacco Pipe Trade in Early Colonial Virginia

This chapter outlines how objects differently situated along a thurmatic continuum differentially figure in cultural motion and how in turn that cultural motion is linked to social relations. Social relations are the conduits through which culture flows, and tangible physical objects as vehicles for the transmission of culture move through those conduits. The concept of thurmaticity suggests a modification of the Maussian account. Exchange relations of the sort found typically in trade are social relations of a special kind. The chapter focuses on the creation and maintenance of social relationships through the movement of culture and, in particular, through the cultural elements via objects from individual to individual, group to group. There is a mutually enabling relationship between cultural motion and social relations. In any case, the key point here is that the production of highly thurmatic objects, such as cathedrals, or sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) for that matter, may require complex social relations.