chapter
technology Techniques and representations
Pages 16

Technology can be defined as the particular domain of human activity immediately aimed at action on matter. Since †Mauss (1935) demonstrated long ago that the most ‘natural’ of our technical actions-like walking, carrying a load or giving birth-vary from culture to culture, it has become clear that every technique is a social production learnt through tradition. Techniques (or material culture) are embedded with all kinds of social relations, practices and representations, but they are also of concern to anthropology in themselves, and not solely for their effect on the material life of society or for the social relations surrounding their application.