ABSTRACT

As Rathje (1979) observed in his classic synthesis of modern-material culture studies, archaeologists studying contemporary industrial societies have access not only to artefacts but also to people. Like ethno-archaeologists, students of modern material culture can ask individuals how they make and use artefacts, sample their attitudes about sundry objects, and obtain information on product histories. Thus, the availability of people to talk to is ordinarily regarded as advantageous, particularly since the investigator and her or his informants speak the same language and perhaps share some life-history experiences.